Pearland woman charged thousands of dollars for gas bill

Woman: "Instead of $24.72 going to Centerpoint, $2,472 went to Centerpoint."

By Brandon Walker - Reporter

HOUSTON - A Pearland woman was dumbfounded when she checked her bank account online and noticed her gas bill from Centerpoint Energy had cleared, at a cost she could not believe. 

Vivian Clark didn't think she'd have to fork over an arm and a leg to cook at home.

She was surprised, Clark said, how expensive her gas bill was when it was lobbed right as she checked her bank account online earlier this month.

"I saw that huge mistake was made," Clark said. "Instead of $24.72 going to Centerpoint, $2,472 went to Centerpoint."

Something ran amuck, Clark said. She knew she didn't run up a bill that high. Clark told KPRC2 the bill was paid at the beginning of the month. She knew the error was not her fault and thought she would give Centerpoint a phone call. 

"I called Centerpoint. They were like, 'There's nothing we can do. Soon as it hits, we'll start the process.' I sent a fax to them, explaining what happened, showing them everything," Clark said.

In turn, Clark said she received no clarification, no answers, and no -- she didn't get her money back.

"Every time I would call, I would get somebody new, somebody different, something new told to me," Clark said. "Nobody could really help."

Nobody, until Clark called KPRC2 Friday. KPRC2 called Centerpoint, in return. Shortly after calling the company Friday, on Vivian Clark's behalf, Centerpoint contacted Clark with good news.

"They didn't tell me anybody contacted them," Clark said. "They said they were reviewing their records and saw an oversight, and they were going to overnight me my check."

Relief on the way, Clark said. She hopes to get her refund within the next couple of days. Going forward, Clark said she plans to change how she pays her monthly gas bill.

"I've never been late on a bill, but I'm not going to be paying them automatically through the bank anymore," Clark said. "They're going to get a check by snail mail from now on."

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