ROCK HILL, S.C. — Nearly a dozen residents in Rock Hill have brought complaints to NBC Charlotte about sky-high utility bills.
In one case, a woman got sticker shock opening a bill of more than $6,000.
“It’s either, wake up in the morning on the first, are you going to pay your rent, or are you going to pay your light bill?”
In just one month, Jessica Jennings’ billing cycle included nearly three months of usage.
“It's 83 days,” said Jennings.
The single mother of three said she owed the city more than $6,000 on top of hundreds of dollars in late fees.
“It makes no sense,” said Jennings.
Last month, Nakeema Boger, was charged twice. One billing cycle for eleven days, another for 28 days. She’s now having to play catch up when it comes to paying her bills on time.
“It’s never at a zero balance because the bills be so high you can’t afford to pay a $500 bill,” said Boger.
The customers are now questioning the city.
"What are y'all doing up there?” said Boger.
NBC Charlotte’s Billie Jean Shaw took their questions and bills to deputy city manager Steve Gibson.
“That’s very abnormal," Gibson said when referring to the bills.
“The normal billing cycle would be between 29, 30, 32 days.”
Gibson said the city takes full responsibility for the errors.
“That would be in the city’s control,” he said.
Gibson said the issues could be a result of errors in meter readings but tells us he’s dedicated to helping customers resolve the issue.
“If the city failed to bill them effectively then yes, I would want to adjust that bill so it would reflect an average 30 days,” said Gibson.
Gibson also said it's important for customers to know a number of factors could result in high utility bills -- including the time of the year, older homes, and the use of space heaters.
The city also has a program in place to help customers who may have issues with paying utility bills. According to the city’s website, with Project Hope, “city utility customers can opt-in to make a monthly flat-rate donation or round up your bill to donate to Share the Comfort through Project Hope’s utility assistance program to help other City of Rock Hill customers pay their bill.”