Hyde Park Woman Says Eversource Overcharged Elderly Mother For A Decade

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Being off by one digit can sometimes make all the difference.

A Hyde Park woman said Eversource overcharged her mother for electricity by hundreds of dollars over more than a decade.

Michele Aylward said she was recently going through her mother's papers after she died, when she noticed that her mother's power usage spiked 38% in the last year.

The problem? NSTAR had incorrectly recorded the number on Aylward's mother's meter by one digit when it installed in 2010, meaning that she was paying for her neighbor's power and vice versa for the past decade.

The neighbor had a bigger house, so she was overpaying by about $80 a year.

"It's an honest mistake, it's a clerical, a human mistake, but it's an elderly person that was taken advantage of," she said.

NSTAR turned into Eversource after a merger in 2015. The company responded to Aylward's complaint in a letter at first, admitting the error and saying it would pay her back about $240 for the last three years.

Aylward said she reached out to Eversource, and that the company said the state's Department of Public Utilities only requires it to pay back three years of bills, not the full decade.

She said in a Facebook post that her mother, who suffered from vision problems and was ill, couldn't have checked the meter's numbers, even if the problem had occurred to her.

After an inquiry from WBZ NewsRadio, the company reversed its initial decision and agreed to pay back the full amount.

WBZ's Karyn Regal (@Karynregal) reports:

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