Lubbock utilities working through issues, concerns after billing transition

City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)
City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)
Updated: Jan. 12, 2018 at 6:56 PM CST
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City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)
City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)
City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)
City of Lubbock Utilities (Source: KCBD)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The City of Lubbock told KCBD Friday it's now working through issues and concerns that have come from the recent consolidation of Lubbock Power & Light and City of Lubbock utility billing, opening a new online payment portal and system.

The new billing system took full effect in December, allowing customers of City of Lubbock water, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste services and Lubbock Power & Light electric service to pay through one bill and on one website.

"There have not been any large structural issues that have emerged, which we are very thankful for," Matt Rose, City of Lubbock Utilities spokesman, said. "But, you are always going to have a certain level of confusion or perhaps customers who are unaware this transition was taking place."

Some of the issues following the transition include placing late fees or other fees on bills for those who failed to pay because automatic payments didn't go through.

"We have not found that it's anything directly tied to the system in terms of it not operating correctly," Rose said. "But, as we switch over we found instances where perhaps information related to their bank draft is either old or expired and in making this transition over those issues have been brought to bare. So, we are just trying to work through a lot of very, very small and one-off issues with customers to make sure there is nothing long term that adversely affects them."

Rose said through the process to resolve the concern, the fees are being waived.

"What we want to make sure of is that there are no late fees that are assessed to customers simply because they were either unaware the transition took place or somewhere through that process something might have not gone correctly and we are now trying to work to work fix it," Rose said.

Customers have told KCBD NewsChannel 11 the lack of awareness of the transition was the reason they did not monitor the automatic payments for the new system. Rose said the City held a series of open houses, had transition information on LP&L and the City website, purchased media ads and conducted interviews, used social media and email notification as well as billing inserts.

Other issues City of Lubbock Utilities has encountered during the transition is customers having trouble with expired passwords or changing passwords when not needed.

"We understand everybody gets busy with everyday life and no matter the level of awareness you try to put out, some folks might not either get the message or if they do might not fully understand what it might mean," Rose said. "We have made the customer service reps available and make sure they understand some people, despite our best efforts, were not aware this transition was taking place. So, any issues they may have going forward shouldn't adversely affect them."

If you need to contact City of Lubbock Utilities about your bill, call 806-775-2509.

Copyright 2018 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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