Most of us would expect that if we pay our bills our utility service is safe. No one else can cancel it except us right? But that might not be the case.
Austin resident Susan Rozanc recently had her account canceled twice and now she's warning others.
"I'm incredulous really. I am just like how can this happen two months in a row?" Rozanc asks.
Rozanc says Austin Energy first sent her a cancellation notice and final bill in June. The problem was that she never requested that her account of three years at a property she owns be closed.
"I was like why is this my final bill? I was really alarmed. So I called the city and they said, 'Oh, well someone had the service established in their name so we just took it out of your name.," Rozanc says.
Rozanc says she was told her next door neighbor, who rents out his duplex, mistakenly gave them her address to set up an account once his tenant moved out. She says the issue was corrected and she was told this would never happen again. But it did.
"Saturday afternoon I got to my mailbox I get another bill saying your service has been disconnected. This is your final bill. And I'm going what?! I was shocked. I just didn't know what do," Rozanc says.
Rozanc says Austin Energy was able to password protect her account so that someone couldn't do it again but she worries about others. She wants people to know that closing utility accounts without consent can apparently be very easy.
"What I was told over the course of these few months was that anyone can put their service in your name, or their name rather. Anyone can call and say 'Oh I'm establishing service at this address' and it happens," Rozanc says.
"There's no check. They don't call the other person and say, 'Hey have you moved out?' Nothing. There's no safeguard at all," Rozanc adds.
Austin Energy explained in a statement to FOX 7 Austin how this could happen. It says:
"If someone starts service at an address, our safeguard is to stop service for the previous customer so that we are not billing for the same service twice. This prevents a customer being billed for services after they have moved if they happen to forget to cancel their utility accounts. On rare occasion, someone may call in with the incorrect address & we handle those on a case-by-case basis."