"Yeah I'm real upset because my bill is extremely high," said Shaneka Gray. A single mother of three, confused and angry at LP&L after receiving a massive electric bill. "I don't see how my bill is $600," she said.
The reason? A rogue meter-reader neglecting his job. Making up numbers, causing customers to get hit with their real bills like a tidal wave. "My bill went up $400 in one month," said Gray.
Making matters worse, NewsChannel 11 discovered that the havoc was sewn by more than one person. A second meter-reader fudging the numbers. Sources say shortly after red flags went up over the first meter-reader, a meeting was called in which all the readers were warned about the repercussions of not doing their job by estimating numbers. On Monday, the second meter-reader supposedly quit.
"I wish I could tell you but I really can't," said LP&L supervisor Guyle Roberson. Officials are tight-lipped about the former meter-readers, but assure the public that the situation is under control. "We want the public to realize that we're doing everything we can," said Roberson.
Protecting themselves against willfully deceptive employees, they say, is virtually impossible. Nevertheless, the integrity of everyone, even 30 year veterans, has come under question. "Think about it. They've been in this business for 30 years. What is it that keeps them there? Is it because that they do a dishonest job? It's not," said Roberson. "They do an honest job, they've been here a long time. Next question," he smiled.
Unfortunately for LP&L, the questions will be predominately angry for the weeks to come. "They say that this is the home owned advantage, but where's my advantage?," demanded Gray. "I'm the customer, I'm the one keeping these people open," she fumed.