PINEVILLE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The electricity company Cleco on Monday announced they plan to reinstate disconnect procedures and late fees beginning Thursday.
Cleco, which serves customers in Northwest Louisiana’s DeSoto, Natchitoches, Red River and Sabine Parishes, suspended service disconnects and late fees beginning March 13 to help customers facing financial challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A month later, the company reimbursed customers a $2.50 processing fee charged by the company’s online payment processor, KUBRA, which Cleco plans to quit doing on Wednesday.
In July, customers with past due bills were automatically set up on long-term payments, which is one of the reasons Cleco is reinstating the late fee charges and disconnect procedures.
“We’ve had a moratorium on disconnects and late fees for almost seven months, as well as taken other extraordinary measures to assist our customers during these unprecedented times,” said Shane Hilton, president of Cleco Power.
“With the assistance we’ve provided, and the state’s move to Phase 3, we’re going to slowly return to our regular guidelines for disconnects and late fees. However, we remain committed to helping our customers through our long-term payment plan options, and we’ll continue to closely monitor the pandemic.”
Under Cleco guidelines, payment for electricity used is due when the bill is received. As a courtesy, customers are given a 20-day grace period from the billing date to make their payment. After the 20-day grace period, a late fee is assessed, and the service is subject to disconnect.
“Customers who are subject to disconnect will receive a detailed letter which will be sent over the next two months beginning in October,” Hilton said “Our priority is to always work with customers, and service disconnects are a final option.”
The company initially announced it would reinstate disconnect procedures and late fees beginning Sept. 1, but the reinstatement was postponed until Oct.1.
Customers who are unsure of their account status can visit a customer service office, call 1-800-622-6537, use the Contact Us form on cleco.com or direct message Cleco on Facebook at @ClecoPower.