CREATED Nov. 12, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Most of us would be angry to get a utility bill a couple hundred dollars more than expected. So imagine how one valley man felt when he got an electric bill for thousands.
"What happened is what would happen to most people. I almost fainted," said Charles Hilton.
He couldn't believe when he was slapped with this bill back in September, "It was just over $6,000."
That's thousands more than his usual bills, which are just over $100. The charges literally went off the chart. Charles said he and his wife usually use 30 to 40 kilowatts a day, but this bill showed they were now using 995.
"I was more humorous and laughing at it when it first happened, because I knew it couldn't be right," said Charles.
Charles said he called NV Energy right away. The first customer service person he spoke with said she'd look into it and Charles could expect a call in about a week.
"But I didn't get the call. Maybe 10 days later I called again. I spoke to a young lad who said they issued me a credit. I said oh, how much? He says $8 and change," said Charles.
But a credit for $8.18 wasn't what he was expecting.
"As time went on my blood started to boil a little more, because I was hearing nothing. It upset my wife. I mean she was getting ill over it. She couldn't sleep," said Charles.
That's when he decided to call Contact 13, and we reached out to NV Energy. It turns out it was all a mistake just like Charles thought.
A spokesperson for the company says human error does happen. But she didn't say exactly what caused this specific high bill, only that Charles was never expected to pay it.
"Really we don't have a logical explanation, other than we made a mistake," said Charles.
The one thing he knows for sure, is where to go when you've got a consumer complaint.
"I'm glad we were able to help you," says Tricia. "Well I appreciate it. Now we can sleep at night and we can afford to put the electric blanket on," said Charles.
So here's the Contact 13 bottom line: When you have a billing issue with any business, don't be afraid to ask for a supervisor. Also, get a timeline. Make sure you clearly understand when you're expected to be contacted with some answers.
And when that doesn't work, we've got your back Southern Nevada. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do what we can to help.