ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – When Richard Ball saw his February power bill, he says he nearly had a heart attack.
Ball, who lives with his wife and three kids at a home near Lomas and Morris in northeast Albuquerque, typically pays in the range of $175 a month for power. But for electricity use in February, Ball’s bill was significantly more than that, a whopping $681.12. It claims he used 4,835 kWh during the month, more than triple the month before.
“If I left everything on in the house, it wouldn’t use that much power,” Ball said. “It’s not possible.”
So Ball called PNM, looking to find out what happened and get it fixed.
“Every person I talked to said, ‘Oh that’s not right, we’re going to fix that,’ Ball said.
The solution though ended up making the problem worse. An updated bill takes that $681.12 and counts that as his previous balance. It then adds $676.20 for a recalculated electricity charge for February and another $681.12 as an “adjustment”. That led to a total “corrected” bill of $2,038.44.
“They said they were fixing the mistake,” Ball said. “It’s not the mistake I thought they meant.”
News 13 took Ball’s bills to PNM to try and sort out just went wrong. A PNM spokesperson, citing privacy concerns, declined to say exactly what led to the increased charges and strange bill, but says that the problem was entirely the company’s fault, was a result of “human error” and that they’re working with Ball to fix it.
In a follow up conversation, Ball tells News 13 that PNM got in touch with him Saturday afternoon and says they’ve told him they’re fixing the problem. A possible solution proposed, Ball says, is giving him a $500 credit, which would put his bill in line with what it typically is.