Family gets $3,500 electric bill - WSMV Channel 4

Family gets $3,500 electric bill

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LAWRENCEBURG, TN (WSMV) -

How would you like to get an electric bill for $3,500?

It happened to a Lawrenceburg family, and they have to pay it.

Lawrenceburg Utility Systems discovered the electric meter had been malfunctioning for more than three years at the home of Brent Benson.

The utility company said the Benson family had only been billed $18 for every $100 worth of power they used.

It turns out state law gives power companies the right to go back three years and bill people if they've under billed when this kind of thing happens.

"Something like this could happen to anyone at any time. And when it does, you're completely defenseless against it," Benson says.

The power company says they've offered to set up a four-year payment plan, but if the Benson's don't make the payments, their power could be turned off.

Lawrenceburg Utility Systems' says Benson should have known something was wrong. sometimes his monthly power bill was as low as $23.

"At no time did Mr. Benson call us and say, 'Hey, something's not right, I'm getting a bill for $23 for a full month of electricity,'" says Vic Pusser, manager at LUS.

Benson says he didn't notice the low bills because all the utilities are listed on one consolidated statement, which is automatically paid from the family's bank account.

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