Utilities Commission – 1-888-333-WUTC (9882)
We’ve had a deluge of responses since the first installment of our Avista Reality Check aired Thursday night. We’ve received 106 emails and roughly 30 phone calls. This is in about 23 hours. That’s in addition to the nearly 150 we’d received before Thursday’s story. I’ve never seen a response like that before. And the responses fit into three predominant groups:
1) The first group of responses, over 90% of them, say they’ve had higher bills in the last few months than they’ve ever had before. There are two groups of these responses:
- A) People that are angry at Avista and say their bills are just plain wrong. They can’t explain it. They’ve just never used this much electricity before and have never been charged anywhere near the amount they are now. This makes up the vast majority of the responses.
B) These are responses from people saying they had a major billing issue, but then called Avista and Avista admitted they made a mistake. These mistakes range from billing errors and incorrect estimations to messed up meters and getting the wrong bills.
2) The second group of people says they’ve received normal or even lower Avista bills. This is a fair number of people representing 7 or 8 percent of the total number of comments we’ve received.
3) The third group of people are people critical of me as a reporter and critical of KXLY for doing this story. They question our research and storytelling. This group represents the remainder of the total number–around 2 or 3 percent.
And these people ask some good questions:
Q) Do we know the people we profile didn’t just leave a door open or something?
A) No, we don’t. Hundreds of people certainly could have.
Q) Are you trying to destroy Avista?
A) No, we’re not.
Q) Aren’t you just an inexperienced reporter looking for a good story?
A) I disagree with the first part; but yes, I am looking for a good story.
We welcome tons more comments!
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