Indiana Duke Energy customers affected in massive payment reporting error
PLAINFIELD, Ind. (Oct. 7, 2014)– Duke Energy is notifying customers in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio that some of their monthly payments were reported as “late” to the National Consumer Telecom & Utilities Exchange (NCTUE).
NCTUE is a consumer reporting agency consisting of approximately 70 utility, telecommunication and pay TV providers. It maintains customer payment and account history data.
The error potentially affects about 500,000 current and former residential Duke Energy customers in Indiana (approx. 205,000), Ohio (approx. 257,000) and Kentucky (approx. 43,000) who, at any time since 2010, were on payment plans such as Budget Billing and PIPP Plus (Ohio only).
Payment data for about 5,000 nonresidential customers on payment plans may have been reported incorrectly to Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) and Equifax Commercial Services (ECS).
The company also found examples of incorrect reporting in unique situations such as customers who have adjusted due dates and nonutility charges on their bills. Duke Energy is still researching these accounts and has not determined the number of those customers.
The company no longer reports payment data to NCTUE, D&B or ECS. All information previously reported to NCTUE has been blocked and can no longer be used by others for credit-related decisions; the company has taken similar steps with information reported to D&B and ECS.
Duke Energy will also be contacting additional customers throughout the month of October. Any customer who does not receive a letter from Duke Energy by Oct. 31, 2014, and believes he or she may have been affected should call the company’s hotline at 800-265-6515.
“Taking care of our customers is paramount, and we deeply regret this error has occurred,” said Gayle Lanier, Duke Energy senior vice president of customer operations. “We take responsibility and apologize for this mistake.”