State regulators find Central Hudson's billing system 'riddled with defects'
Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup the New York State Public Service Commission has ordered Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. to show why they should not face civil penalties for “apparent failures related to the company’s new customer information and billing system.” According to a PSC report released December 15, “Central Hudson’s customer information and billing system were riddled with defects at launch (go-live), resulting in overcharges and delayed bills for thousands of customers as well as automatic withdrawals from the bank accounts of many customers for multiple months’ worth of charges. The system transition also led to a drastic decrease in customer satisfaction metrics.” In September 2021, Central Hudson established a new customer information and billing system. Thereafter, Central Hudson customers complained to local officials and the New York State Department of Public Service about excessive and delayed bills, and a lack of customer support. The DPS in April 2022, began an investigation into the complaints and complications related to the system upgrade. That eight-month investigation identified several violations of the Public Service Law, regulations, and Commission orders. The report specifies a variety of missteps by the company including a failure to adequately test the system, a failure to properly resource the project, a failure to properly train staff, a failure to heed the warnings of its own employees, and an overall lack of candor with its customers and the public. Central Hudson now has 30 days to demonstrate why the Commission should not commence a civil penalty action and/or an administrative penalty proceeding. The company must also submit a plan to eliminate bi-monthly estimates and to evaluate the potential impacts of such a change on customers. Read the full story at porcupinesoup [dot] com.