with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

The Alabama Power Company Visa Dance

For those who remember the horrors I suffered in Israel as part of the ongoing Visa Dance , I have begun a new dance with the Alabama Power Company. And yes, it is another Visa Dance. The Dance never seems to end.

Here is a copy of my letter to them after HOURS spent yesterday trying to pay my new power bill.

As a new customer, I am beyond furious at the completely lousy service when it comes to paying my new power bill.

I was told I could pay by credit card over the phone when I set up the account. The first bill arrived within days (before I got any other mail) of establishing service requiring payment within 5 days. I thought this was a little severe and immediate, but a phone call would pay the bill and I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Not true.

I called the company and found out that in order to pay by credit card I have to call another company and pay an additional fee for the “privilege” of paying by credit card.

The only method to pay, I was told, was in person, by check in the mail, or through the web page. Customer service told me I could pay through the web site with my credit card and no extra charges. I got the specific information I would need to do so and visited the web site immediately.

Wrong again.

I went through the whole process only to finally read the small print that says “credit cards not accepted at this time” and was stuck having to dig out some checks I haven’t used for more than 5 years (living on the road, everything is handled by web and credit cards today) and fill in the information for automatic check withdrawal.

Thinking that the bill was now paid and I could get on with my work and life, a screen comes up thanking me for signing up for automatic withdrawal and that it will take 30-40 days to go into effect. WHAT????

I haven’t paid my bill at all!!!

According to customer service on the phone, the only other choice is to mail in a check or show up in person somewhere to pay the bill.

This is totally outrageous and completely unprofessional. Besides providing power to the community, it is the responsibility of the company to accept payment for such services. Your inability to conveniently do so is in an easy manner is completely irresponsible.

Having lived all over the world and the United States, I’ve never had so much trouble to pay any utility bill.

For others like myself, would you please get your act together and make paying by credit card and by phone or web page more convenient. This has been the method of paying for decades, so why should it be so hard to do it here in Alabama? Unbelievable.

And the dance continues….
Mobile, Alabama

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