April 15, 2024

Image result for My utilities were cut off without notice - What can I do?

One of the complaints against utility companies in South Carolina is over service disconnections.  Your utility company is required to notify you in advance before your utilities are turned off.  The SC Public Utilities Commission can help if your service is shut off.

Before a utility company can shut off your service, they must:

Send you written notification that your account is past due

This usually happens if your payment is 25 days late.  This is a past-due notification, letting you know a payment was not received.

Send you a second notification with at least 10 days’ notice

The utility is required to notify you at least 10 days before your service is shut off.

Send a third, final notification with at least 4 days’ notice

This is a second shut-off notice.  This tells you that unless you take action, your utility will be turned off.

Inform you of the shut-off date

The utility should tell you the date the shut-off will happen.

Give you information on how to prevent the shut-off

You must be given a way to contact the utility.  This includes the address and phone number for customer service.  It must also include how much you owe, your last payment, and the date you have to pay by.

Options to avoid a shut-off

You should be told how to dispute a bill, if you think there was a mistake.  You should also be given options for a payment arrangement.  A payment arrangement is an agreement where you split up the amount you owe over several smaller payments.

If your utility is shut off but you had no notice, you can contact the South Carolina Public Service Commission for help.  Or, you can file a formal complaint directly on the SC government website.