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Problems with West Penn, IDT

| Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I paid my West Penn Power bill on Sept. 3 and the payment cleared the bank on Sept. 5. But I received another bill from West Penn several days later advising me that I had to send them an additional payment.

I called West Penn's customer service department and was informed that the most recent amount was for power generated by IDT Energy of New Jersey. I previously authorized the use of IDT Energy with the stipulation that all billing would be done through West Penn Power.

Imagine my surprise when I was informed by a West Penn customer service employee that an error had occurred between West Penn and IDT and that I needed to use another stamp, use my time and submit another payment by Sept. 30.

My concern may be seen as petty, as the cost is minimal. But if every consumer received this same billing because of an error between two electric companies, imagine all of the postage and all of the time consumers use to correct a mistake that was not their own. Add to that the activities and costs related to the U.S. Postal Service, banks, customer service representatives, etc.

When errors are made by large companies, there needs to be accountability. There needs to be transparency between the companies and their customers. And for people — especially those on fixed incomes — there need to be honesty and fairness.

The very least West Penn should have done was enclose a postage-paid envelope for payment and a detailed description as to why the customer was being billed again. It also should've included an apology for their and IDT's errors.

Paul Bizich Jr.


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