I got a phone call from my daughter yesterday that our power was out and I needed to come home. As I drove down the street I noticed everyone’s lights were on… except ours. Having paid the bills just a week earlier and being enrolled in their auto-debit pay system, I figured a squirrel or something was behind this, so I called to report an outage only to be told that my bill was unpaid. Furthermore, I was told disconnect statements were sent out as was a phone call which was listed as being picked up by an answering machine.
I couldn’t find any bills or statements (I throw them out after looking them over and/or paying) and there were no messages on my answering machine from them. Checking later, there were no emails sent either.
This wasn’t the time to argue and I didn’t want to spend the evening playing scrabble by candlelight, so I payed the bill in full over the phone. In short order someone showed up to restore power, but I was a little taken aback by what he had to say, and he prefaced it by “you didn’t hear it from me.”
Supposedly Ameren is cracking down on residential customers, and he had to disconnect someone for an unpaid $25 bill. He also said, they got rid of many positions, oversight of web and autopayments being one of them. Infact, the Ameren guy was recently given a notice to disconnect his own house, even though he works for them and was signed up for auto-debit!
“They’re dicking people around.”
He now only pays his bills through the mail or in person at Schnucks and suggested I do the same.
If you autopay, you might want to keep a close eye on it.