KCTV5 INVESTIGATES: Just how easy it is to get stuck with someone else’s bill

KCTV5 INVESTIGATES: Just how easy it is to get stuck with someone else’s bill

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV)

Before you pay your next power bill, you should find out just how many power bills your name is on.

Your name could be listed as a “responsible customer” on multiple bills and you have no idea.

Preston Smith received a bill for his home in Missouri, and for the first time after decades of power bills at the same address, he saw three other names listed as “responsible customers.”

“I think this is where the utility has crossed the line,” Smith said.

The names listed were three of his adult sons who hadn’t lived in that house for more than a decade. Smith was confused when he first saw the bill so he called KCP&L.

Smith said he heard the following explanation.

“According to KCP&L, state law gives them the right so that anyone who’s lived under my roof is and is more than 18 years old or has called the power company at least one time, then they would be obligated to pay the debt,” Smith said.

KCTV5 investigated, and a spokesperson for KCP&L explained what Smith heard was correct. If you have lived at an address at some point or called KCP&L with any comment or concern about an address, then your name can also be included as a “responsible customer” on the power bill for that residence.

A spokesperson for KCP&L told KCTV5 News that the Missouri Public Service Commission gives the power company the authority to have that billing practice.

KCTV5 contacted the Missouri Public Service Commission and was told there is no language in their rules giving KCP&L that authority.

KCTV5 asked KCP&L to point out the specific language giving the power company the authority over the course of several weeks. As soon as KCP&L responds, KCTV5 will update this story.

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