SDG&E customers charged twice on monthly bill

Utility admits to processing error

SAN DIEGO - When Robert Klein received his bank statement and saw the entry from SDG&E, it caused him to do a double take.

"I knew I wrote them a check but I saw it twice on my bank statement and thought they're trying to double dip me," he said.

Klein is not the only one. The San Diego utility mistakenly did the same thing to more than 3,000 others in the last billing cycle.

"It was a processing error which of course we deeply regret," said Amber Albrecht, a spokeswoman for the utility. "As soon as the processing department caught, accounts were credited."

Klein, a veteran who served with the Army in Vietnam, wondered how this could happen in the first place.

"I mean, if I take a check into the bank, they're not about to cash the same check twice," he said.

SDG&E has 3.4 million customers, but the glitch to some 3,100 customers happened only to those who wrote checks.

"Customers who were affected should have a credit to their account, and if there are any overdraft fees associated with the error, we will reimburse customers for that," Albrecht said.

Klein said he knows the error was not intentional, but wants assurances it will not happen again.

"What if they didn't do what's right and credit the account and you don't check your bank statement? If it happened once, it can happen again," he said.

SDG&E said it is implementing additional oversight in its processing department and will notify affected customers by mail.

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