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Video: A Tishomingo Woman Is Speaking Out About An $18,000 Electric Bill

TISHOMINGO, Miss. (WCBI)-Imagine receiving an $18,000 electric bill.

The Tishomingo woman says it went up thousands of dollars from the normal amount.  Now, she’s fighting back!

When Pattie Ferguson opened her November electric bill from Tishomingo County Electric Power, she was speechless.

“Well I was shocked at the beginning and thought maybe it was a mistake or an error,” says Pattie Ferguson.

An error making her usual electric bill of $800 to more than $18,000 for her one stop convenient store.

“I called the power company and talked to the receptionist and she said oh, yeah laughingly it’s a mistake don’t worry about it. I said well I’d like to get confirmation from someone in management. So about 30 minutes later I got a call from Robert Grisham. He said are you in your store because I need to come see you. He came by and told that it was correct,” says Ferguson.

That’s when Ferguson was learned her meter has been broken for years.

“He said that my meter was reading wrong submitting incorrect information or incomplete data to the substation and they hadn’t come out and checked it in two and a half years and that I was responsible for the bill,” says Ferguson.

“Well I think the issue comes down to human error,” says Brandon Presley.

Mississippi Public Service Commissioner, Brandon Presley, says this $18,000 error is forcing him to take a closer look at meter reading.

“I’ve asked for a systematic review state wide of meter practices of electric utilities because just last year 2013 we found an over-billing at Desoto County schools for instance, it was 900,000 dollars,” says Presley.

Ferguson is willing to take full responsibility but she believes the error belongs to the electric company.

“I’m just trying to do what’s right and fight for what I believe in and I think that this is a mistake but it’s not up to me,” says Ferguson.

As of now, Ferguson and Tishomingo County Electric Power have not reached an agreement.