ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — At the 2,300-square-foot home she was about to move into in August, mental health therapy aide Dee Chambers later got a bill for $2,000 dollars from RG&E for the month of August. 

“And I was like how can the bill be this high when nobody lives there?” said Chambers highlighting that for a portion of the month, the home was vacant before she moved in.

She said RG&E came to the house and told her it came down to her meter. “They said ‘oh it’s because we’ve been estimating your bill.’ They adjusted it, and they lowered it down to $600.”

She entered a payment plan for that $600. She then said she never got a bill until after September. 

“And then all of a sudden I get like five bills dated for January of 2023, and it bumps it from $600 to $4,000 to $8,000.”

It was actually six bills and her due balance was for $8,617. Fearing her utilities will get cut off, Chambers says she’s spent hours on the phone with RG&E on three separate occasions. She has just paid $666 towards the $8,617 bill to keep things on. 

“All they could tell me is they saw a spike at the end of August. And they couldn’t explain to me how much this spike cost,” said Chambers.

RG&E responded to this particular instance with the statement below:

“RG&E hasn’t been immune from the effects of COVID that many utilities and businesses have experienced, such as severe staffing shortages. We understand the impacts some of our customers have faced with their bills as a result of this and other factors. We are pleased to announce we have made significant progress in reducing customer issues by hiring 40 new billing specialists who will be dedicated to processing complex bills just like this one. Along with providing safe, reliable service to nearly 400,000 Rochester-area customers and responding to and restoring service following historic storms such as our service areas experienced just last week, addressing billing issues continues to be a top priority for RG&E, and we are committed to ensuring customer bills are sent out timely and accurately. We urge any customer with a billing issue to call Customer Service at 800.743.2110.”

Shelby Cohen, Senior manager, Corporate Communications – New York

Chambers feels like she is in limbo waiting for all this to get resolved properly. “They need to take our concerns seriously and stop coming after us like sharks for money,” she said.

As News 8 reported last week, the Department of Public Service announced an expanded investigation into RG&E’s billing practices. As part of its investigation into RG&E, they will be hosting a series of town halls this month.

An image showing Chambers’ six bills, all due January 11, 2023 for various amounts