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North Carolina utility drops late fees due to delayed bills

January 20, 2021 GMT

GREENVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina utility temporarily canceled late fees after finding that its customers were experiencing delays in getting their bills in the mail.

Greenville Utilities said it’s received reports of customers getting their bills several days after they were due, The Daily Reflector of Greenville reported Wednesday. Interim director of customer relations Scott Mullis said a check confirmed that some batches of bills have been delayed in the mail.

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“We don’t want to penalize customers for a situation they can’t control, so we have been looking for ways to help them,” said Scott Mullis, interim director of customer relations.

The utility sends out about 72,000 bills a month, said communications manager Steve Hawley. It’s unclear how many customers received delayed bills but it appears it started in mid to late December. Greenville Utilities began monitoring the delays with bills that were mailed shortly before Christmas.

The utility said it is adjusting its billing software so customers who are about to be charged late fees in the next few weeks will not be charged those fees. Staffers are also working with individual customers who have received late fees in the past few weeks.