West Oregon Electric Cooperative (WOEC) recently changed their billing system, combining two previous billing cycles into one. The change has raised some questions among members.
All WOEC bills will now be processed on the 10th of each month and will be due on the 25th. According to WOEC staff, bills are mailed from a processing plant in St. Louis.
During this past billing cycle, many members did not receive their bills in the mail until Saturday, October 18, giving them just one week to make their payment before being subject to a late fee.
When questioned about the small amount of time customers were being given to make their payment on time, WOEC staff explained that the billing information was sent out electronically in the afternoon on Friday, October 10, meaning bills did not get processed on Saturday, October 11th. Processing of these bills was further delayed because of the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, October 13.
WOEC staff made several suggestions to help members deal with the new billing schedule.
First, members can sign up for Budget Billing, which averages your bills for the past year and allows you to have the same monthly payment every month throughout the year. This makes it easier for customers to plan a budget and always know the amount of their electric bill before their statement arrives. WOEC staff made sure to warn customers not to make their payments before the 10th of the month, as that would be counted as an extra payment but would not go towards the next bill being processed that month and due on the 25th.
Bills are also available for viewing on line at the WOEC web page. Members can sign up as part of the Smart Hub program and receive an email notification when your bill is ready to be viewed on the 10th. Members can also pay their bills on line using a credit card through the Smart Hub program.
Another way to avoid a late payment is to sign up for automatic payments by bank draft before the 25th of the month.