The Maine Public Utilities Commission Consumer Assistance and Safety Division (CASD) continues to resolve complaints from CMP customers, according to a Jan. 14 news release. Most complaints occurred during late 2017 and 2018. During that period 1,082 complaints were received and 960 (89%) have been resolved. The CASD has directed CMP to issue more than $346,000 (about $200 per case) in billing credits to the consumers who turned to the CASD for help.
“We want to be certain that consumers understand that we are here to help them resolve their complaints relating to billing or other issues,” said Derek Davidson, Director of the Consumer Assistance and Safety Division, in the release. “We have eight full-time dedicated staff working on these issues every day. Every case is unique, and we work very closely with each customer to address their issue,” said Davidson.
“The CASD is reinforcing this message due to some recent confusing press coverage,” the release said. “Some customers have the impression that the issuance of the Examiners Reports last week meant that their complaint would not be addressed.”
“This is just not accurate,” said Davidson, in the release. “In no situation will a customer’s complaint simply be closed; every complaint will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. The Examiners Reports are recommendations from Commission staff and no final decisions have been made related to CMP’s metering and billing issues. The Examiners Reports make no recommendations on the resolution of individual complaints. CASD staff will address all open cases.”
In addition, the interim payment policy remains in place, the release said. Customers must continue to pay the undisputed portion of their bills until a final decision is made in the metering and billing case.
While no decisions have been made, the Examiners Reports do address open complaints in their recommended findings. Specifically, the staff recommends that customers with unresolved high usage concerns receive an independent electricity use audit. These audits would evaluate the circumstances of each individual customer and determine if the customer’s actual usage is consistent with the customer’s billed usage. If the usage is consistent, the auditor would make recommendations for reducing usage. If the usage is not consistent, further analysis would be necessary. In addition, complaints involving potential billing errors will continue to be resolved by the CASD on a case-by-case basis.
The CASD is available by telephone, via e-mail or by consumers filing an on-line complaint form. Consumers should call 1-800-452-4699 if they are dissatisfied with a utility response to their concerns. In most cases, CASD staff can resolve complaints working with the consumer and the utility.
About the Commission
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chairman, Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis serve as Commissioners.