The Public Service Commission gets hundreds of misdirected calls each year from angry utility customers. They want to pay a bill or ask a question about their service, but they can’t find the right number.
Almost every utility lists the Commission’s telephone number somewhere on its bill, and frustrated customers often call us by mistake. Then they experience another round of difficulty when PSC operators have to direct them back to reading their bill to find the correct number.
You can’t pay your bill or change your service by calling the Public Service Commission. You must contact your utility.
So, I have studied five common utility bills. My electric bill is simple to read. On the first page,about halfway down on the right, is a telephone number for making payment by phone. There is also an 800 number for the customer operations center. That’s common practice with electric companies.
My gas bill is a little busier, but the front page also includes an 800 number, clearly marked as “general information,” for making payments or inquiries. The reverse page provides details on bill paying options and an explanation of charges.
My water bill is from a major utility, so bills from smaller water suppliers may look different. This bill is complex, but about halfway down on the left is an 800 number for customer service.
On my sewer bill, two-thirds of the way down on the left is a bold-faced “customer assistance” note. As with water bills, sewer bills from smaller utilities may vary widely.
My cable bill features a block that offers “ways to pay.” My provider offers an 800 number, but advises the customer to “upgrade your services and manage your account” by going online otherwise. I did not find a toll-free number to call if one had a complaint.
The Public Service Commission does not regulate the internet. If you have a problem with your internet service provider and cannot work it out with the company, you should call the attorney general’s office at (304) 558-8986. His website clearly informs citizens that his office handles broadband and internet complaints.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, you can avoid some frustration by taking a minute to look closely at your utility bill and find the correct number to call concerning your problems.
Public Service Commission
Chairman Charlotte Lane’s Column
Major Utility Customer Service Numbers
Appalachian Power/Wheeling Power 800-982-4237
Hope Gas 800-688-4673
Monongahela Power/Potomac Edison WV 800-686-0022
Mountaineer Gas 800-834-2070
West Virginia American Water 800-685-8660