SmartMeter mishap leads to $4,000 bill

June 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
7 On Your Side have been getting a lot of complaints about utility bills for the past few months, but few like this one: a bill that went up 100 fold.

"I called them right away and I think I said, 'I am either calling the police on you or the paramedics for myself and I asked them what happened here?'" Isabelle de Paz said.

Isabelle's PG&E bill for her Burlingame store "All that Glitters" went from about $40 a month to $4,126.63 a month -- that's a nearly 100 fold jump.

"I have been hearing about the problems, I just didn't think I would be one of them, I think yes," said Isabelle when Finney asked her if she thought the problem were SmartMeters.

7 On Your Side checked to see if she had a SmartMeter, but we found the retailer next door had a SmartMeter and she didn't.

While we were there, a PG&E guy came by to check on the issue. He didn't know for sure, but made the same guess we did about the last meter reading.

"There are two meters, possibility is he only saw the first meter," the PG&E employee said.

He referred us to PG&E's main office which told 7 On Your Side: "The non SmartMeter was misread by the meter reader which is what resulted in the high bill."

PG&E told Isabelle not to pay the natural gas portion of the bill until they had a change to set things right.


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