Sen. McLachlan Blasts CL & P for Issuing Alarming Shut Off Notices and Late Fees; New Texas Payment Operations Creating Processing Delays

March 26, 2014

Sen. Michael McLachlan is sounding the alarm after hearing from multiple customers of Connecticut Light & Power Co. who are receiving shut-off notices and late charges even though they are making on-time payments.

In March 18 letters to the presidents of CL & P and Yankee Gas, Sen. McLachlan noted that CL & P moved its accounts receivable operations from Connecticut to Dallas, Texas.

The former two-day payment processing service in Hartford now takes two weeks in Dallas.

“Why would a major corporation want their payments floating in the U.S. Postal Service travelling from Connecticut to Texas?” Sen. McLachlan said. “It defies logic.

“Many of my constituents have contacted me to share their frustration with CL & P’s customer service department in response to a CL & P shut-off notice. One person told me, ‘I’ve never been late paying my bills, and now they send me a shut-off notice and charge me a late fee?’

“Another constituent received a shut-off notice and the power was turned off. Unfortunately, their payment was received on-time by CL & P and the power was restored. After a contentious phone call to customer service, CL & P removed the ‘reconnection fee’ from the customer’s bill.

“Phone calls to CL & P often result in a response saying, ‘Don’t worry, we received your payment.’ Tell that to a senior citizen who has never experienced the alarm of a shut-off notice.

“I am calling on CL & P to promptly pull the plug on their new out-of-state payment operations and refund the inappropriate late fees to their customers who paid on-time.”