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Major sticker shock for electric customer faced with $5,000 bill
UPDATE: Entergy contacted Pope after the 2 On Your Side story aired and said it is correcting the billing error. The company told Pope it's looking into how the bill went out with the mistake and how it can better flag such errors.
Read the original story below.
BATON ROUGE - Major sticker shock for an Entergy customer who opened his bill Friday morning to find he owed $5,000.
Brian Pope says it's not something he expected to see.
"That can't be right," he said.
Pope tells 2 On Your Side that last month his lights started flickering. An electrician determined that his electricity panel needs to be replaced and they got to work.
"Entergy came out, cut the power to the house. They replaced the box, did all the work. Entergy restored the power, and that's the only thing weird that's happened," Pope said.
That is until he opened his bill to see that he owed $5,069.54. Last month, Pope says his bill was about $200, and it's never been higher than $400. Now he's on the hook to make payments on that enormous bill. He was placed on a deferred payment plan and will owe $400 a month, plus next month's bill, until the bill is paid off or Entergy draws a new conclusion.
"The thing that I don't like is you call Entergy when you finally get a human, and they're like, 'it's right,'" he said. "You know, until we find out it's wrong, you owe this money. There's no recourse."
Pope says he's not sure how someone living in a house comparable to his could use $5,000 worth of electricity in a month.
"I mean, I'd have to have huge neon signs or something," he said.
Pope hopes to hear better news soon. Friday morning, 2 On Your Side reached out to Entergy regarding the bill. Entergy says it's looking into it and will provide more information when it becomes available.