Georgia Power customer says she was charged 15 times - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Georgia Power customer says she was charged 15 times

By Don Logana - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - If you think you pay too much for power, how about getting double, and even triple, billed after you already paid? It's happened to more than 3,000 Georgia Power customers across Georgia.

Georgia Power says it's not their fault. They blame the company they hired to handle payments, BillMatrix.

While both sides claim money has been returned, one Savannah woman says she's been billed 15 times and someone owes her $1,500.

"This to me is white collar crime," Colleen Williams told WTOC.

Williams is pulling no punches after paying four Georgia Power bills, and waking up to no money.

"I went to bed with $1,500 in my account. I woke up with $74 overdrawn," she said. "There's four bills I have been charged 15 times on."

The proof is in her account statements which show Georgia Power withdrawing anywhere from 50 dollars to $200, multiple times. It's something she hasn't seen before.

"Not to this extent," she said.

It turns out more than 3,000 other Georgia Power customers had the same thing happen to them. Williams called Georgia Power who told her it was not their issue, but the company who handles online payments, called BillMatrix.

Williams is still out $1,500.

"Georgia Power said they didn't, but the withdrawal was for Georgia Power," Williams said. "A little bit of wrong is wrong. You do not cheat 3,000 and find it acceptable."

So WTOC called Georgia Power. Spokesman Jeff Wilson told WTOC: 

This is a BillMatrix issue, not a Georgia Power issue. BillMatrix noticed the problem immediately, and contacted the banking institutions to correct it. Georgia Power has not received any additional funds from customers as a result of this issue.

"Georgia Power hired them. They are their boss. They will do what they are told to do to keep the contract, so apparently Gergia Power isn't unhappy with the situation or they would have terminated them," Williams said. "It's white collar crime. They have what doesn't belong to them. They have cash in their offices. They could tell people go to your nearest office and we will refund you. They aren't doing that."

"What they are doing is just plain wrong. They know what they are doing and not stopping it," she said.

WTOC also tried contacting a representative from BillMatrix, Alan Ulman, but did not get a call back. At 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, Williams says Georgia Power contacted her to say the money was back in her account.

However, she says it is not. She only has the money her bank put back in while this whole mess continued.

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