Someone at LIPA...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Someone at LIPA...

... seriously requires deconfusing! Or per­haps it's something within the bowels of Long Island Power Authority's Hicksville offices.

Two weeks ago there was a message (live, not pre-recorded) on our home 'phone urging us to contact them regarding "your account."

(Ack! We all know what that means!)

While Jeanne was raising an eyebrow in my direction, I checked both my QuickBooks pro­gram and SCNB's on-line billpay module, and everything was in order! The LIPA payment was scheduled on its due date of April 2nd.

I chalked off the 'phone message to a glitch of some sort or an eager-beaver in the LIPA bill­ing department, and got on with my life.

Five days later the LIPA person called back. I identified myself as the person responsible for the bills, and asked why she was calling.

"It's about your account balance...."
"What about my 'account balance?'"
"We were inquiring when you were going to be making payment."
"My bank is going to make payment the day before the due date which my records show is three days from now! What do your records reflect?"

There was some clicking noises of a keyboard at the other end of the line, and then:

"Our records show that your payment is due April 2nd."
"Good... today is March 30th. Why are you calling? Is this a reminder? Is that what LIPA is doing now-a-days?"
"Ummmm... no...."
"Then again I ask, why are you calling?"
"I don't know, sir, but I'll look into it."

In the face of such candor, even couched in Customer Service-speak, all I could do was exchange closing salutations and hang up.

I dismissed the matter from mind.

Today at 7:56 am I received an "e-lert:"

"Your latest Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) bill for Customer ID#: [xxx] is ready for viewing at:"

Sic transit Gloria Seeley! That was a short billing cycle!

I immediately logged into my LIPA account and received the comforting but curious news:

LIPA On-line statement

Paid in full, a whole day ahead of the due date, so no balance is owed.

So just what is it that LIPA is e-lerting me to?

One item on my LIPA statement that I believe to be incorrect.

Last I looked, LIPA owed us money for years of over-billing!

I'm reasonably confident that some of that $231 million in ill-gotten LIPA gains should be coming back to East Main Street!


1. B. Stevens said...

Does this mean that you are going to focus on broader targets during this election campaign, and ignore the "local" stuff?

Not at all... OtBB's readership usually falls off 15% on weekends, so if I've got something blogable that's not time-sensitive, I tend to slot it for a weekday.

And, as I said, that LIPA "e-lert" just arrived Sunday morning, and the moment I opened it, like Hera from Zeus' brow, it sprang full-blown as an entry.

2. Tugboat Bertha said...

We also opted for the "Automatic Withdrawal" option for our LIPA bills. So far it has worked without any e-lerts from them. E-lerts would upset the bill payer over here greatly. Thanks for the heads up.

Now I wanna know where the over-billing rebates are!

3. Staci Woods said...

I'm starting to think that LILCO was a better utility!

Um, were you around for Hurricane Gloria?

4. Professor Wagstaff said...

Perhaps it is because SCNB was $12,899,000.00 in the hole last quarter.

Do tell! Where is this report? And this relates to LIPA... how?

5. Professor Wagstaff said...

"Suffolk Bancorp Announces Loss for the First Quarter of 2011." Relates to LIPA because SCNB is the entity LIPA is relying on to forward "your money" for your bill.

Maybe LIPA knows something you don't.

Good find! I was searching "SCNB" instead of "Suffolk Bancorp." GIGO!
– Dean

6. EastEnd68 said...

I just tried to sign up for auto payment and got a message that their system was being redesigned. They listened to you.

Pffui! I think it was "redesigned," not successfully, and now they're trying to fix it.

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