Florida Power Light - Elderly Stroke Victim Being Ripped Off Outrages Light Bills

Complaint
Review by mimiturner8644 on 2012-08-27
Rating: StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- In November 2011 my mom got out the nursing home and moved back to her 2 bed rm house. Well her light bill keep going up and up 8/29/11 $81.73; 9/29/11 $93.54; 10/31/11 $97.41; 11/29/11 $108.28; 12/29/11 $190.58; 1/31/12 $323.25; 2/29/12 $138.11; 3/29/12 $154.60; 4/29/12 158.37; 5/29/12 $156.92; 6/29/12 $152.00; 7/31/12 148.68 now starting 2/29/12 these bills claim to be budget billing bull rip off.

Billing they are still taking advantage of my elderly mother who had a massive stroke on 8/8/11 and who lives off her little social security check. Plus I called in 2 months ago and said the bill is only 62.00 but still had to pay the $148.00 budget bill. He tells me if you get off bb you can't get back on till a certain time and in this 8/29/12 bill its $148.00.

My mom needs help these people should be exposed because talking to them did no good help.
Comments:5 Replies - Latest reply on 2012-08-28
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-08-28:
Here are a few things that might be going on.

1. Have you had your mom's house checked out for electrical surges or for appliances/electronics that might be sucking more electricity than normal? Even if an electrical item is turned off, they are still pulling electricity unless you have them on a power strip and hit the power switch on that to off. On a related note, you live in South Florida so I'm guessing that the A/C runs year round. Has it been running more than usual? Maybe the weather hasn't changed much, but if the A/C is malfunctioing, it might be running longer or more often than necessary.

2. Is it a possibility that there is a neighbor that is rigging your mother's meter to run the electricity at their house. Don't laugh, it does happen. If they knew that your mom was in the nursing home, and no one has really been by to check on the place, they might think that no one will catch them.

3. That brings me to this: is the meter running correctly? If the meter is malfunctioning, it might read higher than it should.

4. Your mom is on the budget billing program now. When you first start on a program like this, the inital bills may be higher than what you would actually owe. This allows you to pay your current balance and build up a bit of a surplus so that in a few months, your bills will actually be lower than what your monthly charges are. I'm guessing you were paying her bills for her while she was indisposed. Were you just paying the minimum amount? With budget billing, you can pay the minimum, but if it doesn't cover what you actually owe for the month, they will charge you a service fee and tack that on to the next month's bill. With my gas bill, I try to pay ahead in the summer (when my natural gas use is much lower) so that when winter comes and I have to run the furnace, I have a surplus on my gas bill and the overall amount that I pay doesn't change too much from season to season.
Posted by CowboyFan on 2012-08-28:
One suggestion would be to look at your bills for the years prior to the dates you have shown. This may indicate whether there has been a drastic change in the amount of electricity used.

Also, Since your mother had her stoke, perhaps she is not as active and spends more time at home with the a/c set differently. Also, the bills seem to reflect pretty much what electrical usage is in Florida, where electric heat costs more during the winter and fluctuates depending on the temperature.
Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-28:
Aside from the budget billing program, the root question one has to ask is if the billing for useage has been accurate. This can be determined by looking at the meter.

The nuances of budget billing I am not familiar with, but to me "ripping your mother off" would mean being charged for something she didn't use. Budget billing should even out the bills over time, I would guess.
Posted by clutzycook on 2012-08-28:
It does, 8r. Before budget billing on my gas bill I would pay as much as $200/mo in the winter and as little as $20 in the summer. Now I rarely pay more than $50/mo year round.
Posted by madconsumer on 2012-08-28:
with budget billing, the schedule of payments is an average of the previous years usage, with a balloon payment/credit once a year. even if no usage is reported, a budgeted payment is still required. only way around this, would be to cancel service all together.

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