Late paying bill? You may get a call

Published 10:05 am Friday, April 19, 2013

The town of Franklinton is changing the way it reminds customers about delinquent utility bills and is seeking phone numbers to ensure everyone gets the notifications.

The current procedure is to send a second notice to customers who are late paying their bill, but that will be ending this month. Beginning in May, customers will instead receive a call from the town’s soon-to-be activated automated call system. The call will notify customers if their services are delinquent and scheduled for disconnection due to non-payment.

Letters sent out this week alert Franklinton residents to the change.

Customers are responsible for providing their phone number to the Utility Department. Otherwise, they will receive no second notice if their payment is late. They can either call the office at 839-3569 with their phone number or write it on the payment stub when they pay their next utility bill.

Utility clerk Carmen Conerly estimates only 20 percent of residents have provided a phone number so far.

Merty Fitzmorris, town clerk, said the phone message will be good for customers because they will get a reminder about their bill, and it will help the Utility Department speed up processing of the bills.

“It will free up some of our time so we can get the bills out sooner,” she said.

The automated system could also be used to let the customers know about smoke testing or other matters that pertain to the utility system or office closings, Fitzmorris said.

Customers should receive their bill by the fifth of each month. If the bill is not received by that time, the customer is responsible for calling the office to ask for a duplicate bill.

Bills become delinquent after the 15th of the month, and the gross amount listed on the bill is due on that date. If customers are still delinquent by the 20th, they will receive an automated call informing them about the disconnection procedure and how they can keep services active.

The town thanks its customers who pay on time and asks that people call the office if they have any questions.