Georgia Power adding deposits to late-paying customers

Georgia Power adding deposits to late-paying customers

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ATLANTA -

Some Georgia Power customers could get an unpleasant surprise when they open their next bill. Some new financial penalties are being tacked onto some existing accounts.

One customer said the power company added a $75 deposit to his bill after he ran into trouble making payments.

"If I'm struggling paying the bill, why would you add $75 to the bill with all if the other expenses that I have," said the man.

Another customer said a $150 deposit was added on her bill after she also had trouble paying her bill. That customer said she was told that the deposit and her monthly bill both needed to be paid.

Georgia Power spokesperson John Kraft said the company had to get more proactive when certain triggers came up on accounts.

"Several late payments or a disconnection, for instance, those kind of things can trigger an increase or an addition of the deposit," said Kraft.

Every customer who may have a problem with a payment faces getting a deposit added on of up to $150. Failure to pay that could lead to your service being turned off. Then you will be hit with another penalty -- the $50 re-connect fee.

"So it's to protect the company and other customers from that loss in case that bill is never paid," Kraft.

Kraft says if you think you may have a problem coming up, go and visit an office first.

The company says all customers will get their deposits credited back to their accounts, with 3 percent interest, if they maintain a clean payment history for 12 consecutive months.

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