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FPL / rude and boorish customer service reps and inability to pay bill

Punta Gorda, FL, United States
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I am a canadian who own a condo in port charlotte florida. Although I had a prior fpl account, for the past three years my condo was rented to someone who had the fpl account in their name. My renter left as of april 30, 2017 so I called fpl to have the utilities transferred into my name as of may 1, 2017. I was told that fpl would have to do a credit check with equifax and, if the report was satisfactory, I would not have to pay a security deposit. Lo and behold, I received a bill for $139.00 for a security deposit. After spending 20 minutes paying for a long distance call while I attempted to connect with a real, live person instead of an automated system, I reached a "supervisor" (And I use the term loosely) who informed me that the equifax report was "unsatisfactory" so I had to pay the security deposit. Since I know that my credit is a1, I then phoned equifax to see what the problem was and the lady stated that since I was canadian, with a canadian social insurance number, it was impossible to do a credit check and that they had no file whatsoever on me. When I called back fpl, I was told that they did not care, my payment was due on the may 11th and, if this amount was not paid (Plus a $12.00 connection fee), I would receive a disconnection notice which would take place 7 days later. Whoa - I was given an entire 11 days to pay my bill or I would be disconnected? I told this rude and entirely unhelpful supervisor (Unfortunately I did not get her name) that I would be in port charlotte on may 15, 2017 and that I would visit an fpl office and make a payment of $500.00 so that I would not have this problem in the future. She told me that, first of all, I could not overpay my bill as the fpl office would not accept more money than was due (I. E. $151.00). I could not pay in advance at an fpl office. The only way in which I could give them more than $151.00 was to send a check to their miami p. O box number. When I said that I would send them a check today in the amount of $500.00 but I was unsure how long it would take to actually end up in miami, for them to retrieve my payment from the p. O. Box and actually post it to my account, she reiterated that if my payment was not made prior to the "disconnection" date, my service would be cut. I then went through all of their "payment" options and was unable to use them. Although I have a u. S. Dollar account, it is with a canadian bank, thus, I am unable to have my account debited for "automatic bill pay". I cannot pay by phone as the digits on a canadian check do not match those of an american bank. I cannot pay in advance at an fpl location. I could not figure out how to pay by bill which was considered "late" after only 11 day so finally, in desperation (And remember, this is only 6 days after my account was activated), I called western union speedpay and was connected with an extremely helpful young lady who processed my payment in about 3 minutes flat. However, even there, I was unable to pay the $500.00 which I wanted. She could only process the payment for a maximum of $10.00 over and above the amount of my bill. So, in a month from now, I will again be stuck with the hell of attempting to pay my utility bill. Fpl - get with the program. First of all, your customer service representatives and supervisors need serious customer service training and the person with whom I spoke should be fired immediately. All I was trying to do was pay my bill in advance and the only thing which I accomplished was having someone state that my utilities would shortly be cut due to the fact that my bill was not being paid 11 days after I first opened my account. I am sure that I am not the only canadian customer who is facing the same problem. Does fpl make it so difficult so that they can "disconnect" us and then "reconnect" us to charge additional fees? It is unfortunate that fpl is the only utility provider in the area of port charlotte because, believe me, if there were another, I would use them. But, perhaps, this is how they get away with such arrogant, offensive behaviour. They know that they are the only provider, therefore, big cats need little mice to toy with. What a disgusting motto for your company.

Li
May 5, 2017

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