• FOX13 investigates MLGW's PrePay program

    By: Kody Leibowitz

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division has said it won’t shut off power for customers during the cold weather. 

    ORIGINAL STORY: Family claims MLGW cut off power over a few dollars, tacked on extra fees

    Apparently, that’s not for every customer.

    MLGW advertises their PrePay service online as a “pay as you go” payment option.

    Those are some of the first words written on that page.

    FOX13 wanted to learn more about this payment option after speaking to a woman who lives in Frayser on Tuesday.

    “It’s real cold. My feet are frozen. I have on two pair of socks, two pair of pants, two shirts, a jacket and I’m still cold,” said the woman on Tuesday.

    MLGW cut her power Tuesday after she didn’t pay her full bill.

    The woman was one of 11 PrePay customers, according to MLGW, whose service was shut off before the power company reversed course later that night.

    The woman told FOX13 she gets emails every day to pay her bill.

    What is PrePay Service?

    MLGW wrote on its website that rates are the same as a standard account.

    But no deposit is required for PrePay.

    The connection fee for this account, according to MLGW’s website, is about half the price of a standard account.

    There aren’t any late fees or reconnection fees, at least that’s what MLGW advertises.

    Remember that Frayser family?

    They said MLGW tacked on $89 to their account after their missed bill.


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    A spokesperson confirmed that number to FOX13 in an email, acknowledging $50 went to restore services and $22 went toward debt recovery.

    FOX13 emailed MLGW Wednesday. The company said PrePay customers do not incur connection charges. 

    When asked if the fees incurred Tuesday night would be waived, a company spokesperson said they will see if they can give clarity during an interview.

    No date has been scheduled yet for a sit-down interview. 

    MLGW also wrote on its website that PrePay reduced 10 to 12 percent of a customers’ utility; however, the Frayser family said they pay around $15 a day for their bill. On average, that would be $450 a month.

    “Anonymous gifters” lend helping hand

    After Tuesday’s report aired, a handful of Memphians stepped up to help this family.

    No names left – just kindness in their hearts.

    They are the anonymous gifters.

    Right after the report aired, FOX13 received a call from a person who wished not to be identified. This person wanted to pay for the Frayser family’s Wednesday bill. 

    This person not only paid Wednesday’s bill, but did more than that. The person added an additional $100 to the family’s account. 

    This person wasn’t alone in their generosity.

    Another anonymous gifter emailed FOX13 to help the family. 

    Later that day, they also added $100 to the family’s MLGW account.

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