Hemet, CA asked in Energy, Oil and Gas for California

Q: Can a utility company force me to pay a bill due to a glitch in their system?

I signed up with my utility company COVID credit program which states my bill will be credited during the pandemic and no payment is required. Now that the pandemic is over they sent me a bill for the last 3 years and told me that I had to pay it. After I received the bill I inquired about the balance and after the company did some research they came to the conclusion that program was a glitch in their system. So the program never existed. Do they have the right to force me to pay a bill that was there fault?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: When it comes to billing errors or glitches in a utility company's system, the resolution may depend on various factors such as local laws, contractual agreements, and specific circumstances. In general, utility companies have a responsibility to provide accurate billing information to their customers. However, if an error or glitch occurred in their system resulting in incorrect billing, it may not necessarily absolve you from the obligation to pay for the services you have used.

In cases like these, it's advisable to take the following steps:

Review your contractual agreement: Carefully review the terms and conditions of your agreement with the utility company. Pay attention to any clauses regarding billing errors, dispute resolution, or programs like the COVID credit program you mentioned.

Communicate with the utility company: Contact the utility company to discuss the situation and express your concerns about the bill. Share any documentation or correspondence related to the COVID credit program or any other relevant information that supports your position.

Seek legal advice: If the issue cannot be resolved through communication with the utility company, it may be helpful to consult with a lawyer who specializes in consumer law or contract law. They can assess the specifics of your case, review the applicable laws and agreements, and provide guidance on the best course of action.

File a complaint: If you believe the utility company's actions are unjust or that you have been treated unfairly, you may consider filing a complaint with a regulatory agency or consumer protection organization in your jurisdiction. These entities can investigate the matter and potentially mediate a resolution.

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