Action 9: Woman says Duke Energy accidentally closed account

by: Jason Stoogenke Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

When Duke Energy closed a Charlotte woman's account by accident, she says she had to pay her deposit twice.

Donna Niang thinks when her neighbor called Duke to turn the power on, Duke closed Niang's account by accident.  Fortunately, her power stayed on, because her apartment complex keeps the service going no matter what, for showing apartments or cleaning them.

But when Niang finally sorted out the situation, and Duke opened a new account for her, she says she had to pay a new deposit: $200.

"They made the mistake, but I got to pay for it," she said.  That's when she got Action 9.

Most of the complaints Action 9 gets about utilities involve bills that seem too high, not from customers trying to get their deposits back.  Better Business Bureau President Tom Bartholomy says the BBB tends to hear both kinds of concerns.  He says to keep your paperwork and follow the company's exact rules for a refund.  "Eventually, you'll get it back no matter how your communicate it, but if you want it back quickly, follow the precise way that they spell it out and you will (get it)."

When Action 9 contacted Duke for Niang, the company admitted making a mistake, saying Niang's "account was closed in error."  It also said it applied her last deposit to the final bill, so Niang wouldn't have to pay twice.

"The very next day. It was that quick," Niang said.  "I really didn't expect it to move so fast."