Family gets stuck paying wrong PG&E bill

April 11, 2008 7:20:04 PM PDT
It is tough enough paying our power bills these days, but when you've been paying someone else's bill by mistake, you might have a problem with that. That's what happened to a Concord family.

The Naidu's do what they can to keep their energy bill low. So when they found out PG&E had mixed up their bill with someone else's, they weren't too happy.

Muni Naidu says he's suspected something has been wrong with his bill for sometime.

"We had a suspicion," said Muni Naidu from Concord.

Each winter he relies only on his fireplace to heat his two-bedroom apartment.

He doesn't even turn on his heat, but when his winter heating bill spiked once again last year, he called PG&E to ask for an explanation.

"They just sent a letter saying our bill was correct," said Naidu.

Then this winter, his bill jumped again. This time to nearly $400 dollars, eight times his normal bill.

That's when he asked PG&E to run a test. The utility agreed and sent him outside to turn off his power.

When the electricity in his apartment continued to run, everyone knew something wasn't right.

Two weeks later, a PG&E representative came out, and made this discovery.

PG&E had been sending the wong bil tol the Naidus. The problem is the meter is for apartment 201. The Naidus live in apartment 202.

"We are paying 201's bill. They must be paying our bill," said Naidu.

But two months went by and no adjustment was made to his bill. Naidu says he continued to be billed for the wrong meter.

That's when he called 7 On Your Side. We called PG&E and within days, PG&E was promising a $631 dollar refund for the amount overpaid.

PG&E tells 7 On Your Side Naidu's meter was installed incorrectly and mixed up with a next door neighbor's.

The problem became more noticeable when a new neighbor moved in and used a large amount of power.


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