Dothan Utilities explains disconnections amid customer complaints

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DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Some confusion has spread across the Circle City regarding utility bill payments, and many customers have been complaining about shut-offs without notice.

Dothan Utilities issued a grace period from March to May where they stopped cutting off services, but things have changed.

“The city made an announcement that we would discontinue cut-offs during a period of time, and we started back last week doing those cut-offs,” said Lisa Reeder, Finance Director for the City of Dothan.

Dothan Utilities said customers that were on the delinquency list received phone calls over a 3-week period with notice that utility cut-offs were scheduled to begin again.

“We have offered extensions, or payment plans, or a new option for prepay services, but most customers are paying their bill,” Reeder said. “We have had several hundred that have taken advantage of the payment plan.”

During the time of the grace period, Dothan Utilities had over 4,000 customers that were delinquent on their bills. Customers were in jeopardy of disconnection, but their services were not cut off.

“They had until May the 15th, which was a Friday, before we started resuming disconnections the following week,” Reeder said. “So we had reached out to the customers through phone calls letting them know that they could contact the office by May the 15th to make payment arrangements. We were not able to disconnect everybody that was due for disconnection, so it’s been a gradual process, but we are eventually getting up to date.”

There is a $25 charge for disconnection services and the fee for reconnection of services depends on what is owed on each account and payment arrangements. Dothan Utilities has payment kiosks available downtown for customers to pay their bills and customer service representatives available in the parking lot to assist with any issues.

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