MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A Memphis woman says MLGW overcharged her big time and keeps doing it, leaving her with a utility bill more than $1,700. The problem is so bad the city council now wants answers.
Samantha Rhajapakse carries her MLGW bills everywhere. They've dominated her life for a year.
She says mistakes led to her getting a $2,000 power bill last year. After payments and adjustments it should have dropped to below $700. It didn't. The fight was on.
"I've been a customer of Memphis Light Gas and Water since I was 18, more than thirty years ago. When I had this problem, I thought the disputing practices would be fair. But it hasn't been," she said.
Let's stop right here. "Sure..." That's what you're saying. "She's right, and everybody else is wrong." Heck, Samantha has even had friends who said she should pay what the bill says, and move on. Instead she took her fight to the Memphis City Council again and again and again.
"She's been so persistent and had contacted some other council members and they kind of brushed her off," said council member Janis Fullilove. "When I heard about it, I contacted her and said why don't we sit down with the customer service representatives and see what's going on. So we had a meeting."
The meeting resulted in very few solutions and a lot more questions. Everybody is now concerned that this might not be just one of those isolated cases. Maybe others did what Samantha's friends suggested she do; they just paid the bill, didn't fight the mistakes and moved on.
City council members want to hear this story because they're concerned that MLGW's billing might have made mistakes. If they happened in this case they probably happened in other cases as well. That's why they'll take it up at their next meeting on Tuesday, September 18.