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Alliant issues apology to Iowa customers who received bills that were estimated too high

This news story was published on October 2, 2016.
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Alliant office in Mason City

Alliant office in Mason City

CEDAR RAPIDS – Alliant Energy wants to apologize for its billing process this summer, saying “we let many of you down.”

According to a statement from Alliant Energy:

This summer was hotter than normal. Our customers used more energy than last summer. The bills that customers are seeing now are accurate, but they are coming as a big surprise. We are sorry for this surprise. We were not expecting this either.

The problem

Many of you received estimated bills recently. This is not because our meter readers or our meters didn’t do their job. Our meters and our meter readers do a great job. They are very accurate.

Our computer system checks your monthly usage against previous usage. This review catches possible mistakes in the meter reading process. Each time the system finds usage that is a lot higher or lower than normal it sends the bill to a representative to manually review it. This is done hundreds of times a day.

We recently installed a new billing system. This system has more reviews and checks to make sure customers are accurately billed. One of those reviews includes a tighter look at current energy usage.

This summer was very hot and our customers used more energy than normal. In response, our new system sent more bills than ever before to billing representatives. Unfortunately, we weren’t expecting this. Despite working overtime, we didn’t have enough representatives available to review all of the bills.

Because we couldn’t review the bill, which was accurate, the system automatically sent an estimated bill. The estimation is designed to protect customers from inaccurate bills. In years past, there were fewer bills that needed to be verified. Our employees were able to contact customers directly to let them know about the corrected bill, and setup a payment arrangement if needed.

Again, despite working overtime and hiring more employees, we weren’t able to answer all incoming calls, and also call customers proactively regarding their estimated bills. Many of you were caught by surprise. We are very sorry.

The fix

Here are specific measures we’re taking:

We are adjusting our processes to prevent multi-month estimation during periods of extreme hot or cold temperatures.

We are here to help you spread out the bill over the next 12 months. Please call us at 1-800-ALLIANT(800-255-4268). We are available 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There is no negative impact to your account standing with us or your credit score for setting up a payment arrangement.

We have temporarily stopped the disconnection process for customers who are impacted by this.

We are waiving late payment fees for affected customers.

We are aggressively recruiting more employees.

We live and work here. Many people were affected by this, including our own employees. We will fix this, and we won’t let this happen again.

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14 Responses to Alliant issues apology to Iowa customers who received bills that were estimated too high

  1. Larry Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 7:32 pm

    They wouldn’t have even said anything had they not gotten caught. They are terrible, we need another company. Theres no way an energy bill should be more than I pay for daycare.

  2. Bonny Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Im barly home durning the day i cant use my stove needs replaced by landlord,i dont have washer or dryer,i only use ac on really hot days,i have 1 small lamp on at night,and tv,but my electric bill is very high,im way behind payments now ill probably gerlt a shut notice soon!

  3. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 5:28 pm

    Chump change ! The supervisors in WORTHLESS COUNTY AND MITCHELL county are proposing a new gas line from interstate 35 to Michell going though our county – THESE birds want the tax payers of these 2 counties to pay for this instead of Interstate Power – about a 26 million dollar FREEBIE – think alot of cash won’t be exchanged under the table? Think again HILLARY! TTP

  4. David Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 11:49 am

    each month my bill would get higher so I would call them and they always had an excuse, now my bill is over 300.00

    • Anonymous Reply Report comment

      October 3, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      The problem is you can’t even go to another supplier. They have you over a barrel and they know it.

      • David Reply Report comment

        October 3, 2016 at 12:17 pm

        I have been contemplating solar panels and a wind generator. I even talked to them about it.

        • LVS Reply Report comment

          October 3, 2016 at 5:51 pm

          I looked at both but the pay back is way to long.

  5. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 9:03 am

    They never would have commented if they hadn’t gotten caught jacking up the bills.

  6. krystol andrews Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 8:43 am

    this is absolute bs. Sorry because you let us down? then you go on to say that these bills are accurate and it was hotter than last summer? you are liars. soon enough your doors will be closed.

    I would rather go without electricity than pay a bill to a company that has no problem with stealing from me and my family. You are taking from hard working people and you are taking from children. Shame on you.

  7. Anonymous Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 8:22 am

    BLAH blah blah — Who caught this MISTAKE as Clinton would say ?

  8. mint Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 12:51 am

    Tesla has the solution.

  9. Katie Reply Report comment

    October 3, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Very fair treatment.