HOUSTON – It’s tough to take on a public utility and the Mississippi Public Service Commission wants to offer customers a little help.
The PSC has scheduled the opening of one-day satellite offices in counties across Northeast Mississippi and was at the Chickasaw County Courthouse in Houston last week.
“The goal is to get out and let people come to us to talk about their problems or concerns,” said Orlando Ivy, an investigator with the PSC. “We’re doing this in 33 counties and we will be in Chickasaw County the first Wednesday of each month from 2 to 4 p.m.”
Ivy said customers with concerns about their telephone, electricity, rural water, natural gas, cable TV or even internet can stop by and seek answers.
“If I don’t have the answers I can probably get you the people and (telephone) number you need to get the right answer,” said Ivy. “We answer all kinds of questions and just want people to come by and we’ll see if we can find answers.”
Ivy said the PSC does not regulate municipal utilities such as Houston water and Okolona electricity and water. The PSC also does not regulate satellite TV.
“But if you have charges on your telephone bill that you are not sure about or if you have questions about your rural water association, we can usually help you,” said Ivy. “Most of the time we see people who have charges on a bill from a utility and just want to know what those charges are for.”
Ivy pointed out sometimes the charges are in error and the customer can be reimbursed for that portion of their bill.
“We has seen people get back as much as $100 on their telephone bill,” said Ivy. “That does not happen all the time, but it’s just good business to know what you have bought and what you are paying for.”
Ivy said there are also programs for senior citizens that can help them with specific utility bills.
“In most of those cases it will be discounts of about $8 to $12,” said Ivy. “That may not sound like a lot but it is a little something extra for those on fixed incomes.”
Ivy also urged rural water association trustees and administrators to stop by the satellite office if they have questions about water association rules and regulations.
“The laws dealing with utilities include both state and federal regulations,” said Ivy. “They are complex and, again, we just want to help people find answers to their questions and maybe save their customers a little money.”
Ivy said the public can also contact the Mississippi Public Service Commission, Northern District office by calling 601-961-5450 or toll-free at 1-800-356-6428.