Customer discovers MGE billing errors that date back years

LIBERTY, Mo. - Donald Dunlop traded a Southern California address for the peace and quiet of Liberty, Mo., in 2008.

Each month, his Missouri Gas Energy bill arrives.  Each month, Dunlop pays it without really noticing anything unusual.  But recently he spotted something that upset him.

"Kind of PO'd,” Dunlop said. “Why am I being charged all this money and getting no services?"

Dunlop may have a Liberty address, but he lives outside the city surrounded by a golf course, golf carts and herds of cattle grazing in open fields.  Only people living inside Liberty city limits pay the fees.

Dunlop showed us a bill with a $9.03 franchise fee charge and a $1.72 city tax charge.  That bill is dated January 2008. He believes he’s been wrongly charged that ever since.

"Granted we should have caught this the first bill we've seen, but who looks at their utility bills that closely?" Dunlop asked.

Dunlop contacted MGE and the City of Liberty. He also contacted Call for Action.

An MGE spokesman said, because of the error on Dunlop’s bills, the utility is now working with the city of Liberty to make sure other customers are not being incorrectly charged. But customers outside Liberty who have been billed incorrectly can be reimbursed up to five years. MGE calls this an uncommon situation.

Dunlop will get back $262.

"Primarily, I want the other people who live outside of Liberty to look at your bills and see if you've been charged for this too," he said.

If you live outside Liberty and are being billed for city fees, contact the utility.  It requires an official letter from the city.  

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