DRAPER, Utah – Most people have them in their neighborhoods: those greenish, utility boxes for power lines. When a Draper woman got a $2,500 repair bill for the box on her driveway, she contacted the KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt for help.
Jen Sampson readily admits she owes the power company some money for coming out and replacing the plastic lid to a utility box that one of her guests cracked backing out of her driveway. However, she said the invoice nearly cracked her skull.
“The bill was $2,517.02,” Sampson said.
That was just for the labor.
The power company wanted over $2,500 to cover time and transportation for a job that consisted of just $70 in parts.
“I did think it was fraudulent at first,” she said. “Then I reached out to Rocky Mountain Power and they verified that it was a legitimate bill.”
Wondering how such a simple repair could cost so much money, Jen decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.
No one from the power company would talk to KSL-TV about the bill on camera, but in an email, a spokesman said it was not a simple repair.
The job was “urgent” the power company said. The “ground was frozen,” so it took longer to fix.
After investigating, they did discover a billing error. Rocky Mountain Power said they “apologize for that error and thank the customer for bringing it to our attention.”
They have agreed to settle for $1,000.
Still, $1,000 for $70 worth of parts was a bill Sampson still believes to be too high and said she is considering fighting it in court. Meanwhile, she is sharing her story, wondering if perhaps others have faced similar billing errors that left them with massive bills.
“I hope this hasn’t happened to anybody else,” she said.
Sampson said she has taken her case to the Utah Division of Public Utilities – an option open to any Utah customer disputing a bill with their power company.
A utility cannot shut off your power while you’re disputing something, so long as you stay current on the rest of your service.