SECPA Cautions Customers About Billing Scheme

Saturday, February 11, 2017

By Chris Sorensen

Southeast Colorado Power Association, an electric cooperative severing a large portion of southeast Colorado, is cautioning customers about solicitations being made by an unaffiliated company for bill payment services. SECPA issued a "scam alert" on its web site, and states it is not in partnership with the company, and has not authorized it to use SECPA logos.

SECPA states that Doxo, Inc., headquartered in Seattle, Washington, is contacting customers and using SECPA's contact information and reputation to market Doxo's online bill payment service. SECPA notes it has its own online bill payment system. The company also has other payment options, such as in-person drop off points in many of the communities it serves.

While SECPA's online bill payment system is free, and payments are immediately credited to a customer's account, Doxo is said to be charging customers a $3.99 "convenience fee," and payments are not credited until received by SECPA - which could result in late fees and other charges if payment is not received by the due date.

The northwest chapter of the Better Business Bureau lists 49 customer complaints regarding Doxo. One reviewer notes that payments must be made at least eight days in advance of a due date. Doxo's response acknowledges the extended payment time, but states the company does disclose payment timing, and suggests using another method of bill payment if timing is a concern.

Other utilities in Colorado, including Mountain View Electric Association, and the City of Thornton's utility department, have issued similar cautions to their customers recently, as have numerous utility companies across the nation. Although some have called Doxo's services "legitimate," they go on to state they are not affiliated with the company and call out their free payment options. Most also issue cautions about late fees if a third party billing company does not submit payment by the due date.

SECPA's bill payment system can be accessed through the electric provider's web site, www.secpa.com.

Southeast Colorado Power Association is a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative electric utility formed in 1937. It serves all or portions of Baca, Bent, Cheyenne, Crowley, El Paso, Kiowa, Las Animas, Lincoln, Otero, Pueblo and Prowers Counties.

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