Rather than printing and mailing the mid-month Opalco statements for Lopez locally, Opalco has outsourced that obligation to Opalco's agent located in St. Charles County, Missouri. If this outsourcing were to save the co-op money and if Opalco's obligations were being performed competently, that would be great. However, for unidentified reasons, Opalco's system is not working competently.
Opalco advises that the usage and the other statement information is being transmitted to its Missouri agent electronically on the 15th of each month. The agent then prints and organizes the statements as "presorted first-class mail" and supposedly gets them "out the door by noon the next day". Opalco may not know whether this is actually happening nor whether the pre-sort organizing and labeling in being done competently.
The actual results are that Opalco's Missouri agent is routinely achieving very slow delivery of the statements. On two Opalco accounts which we run, the 1/15 statements were delivered on 1/28, the 2/15 statements were delivered on 2/26, and the 3/15 statements were delivered on 4/06. Those three statement delays are respectively 13 days, 11 days, and 22 days. Opalco has effectively eaten up most or all of the already short 20-day period between the statement date and the late-payment date.
It seems unlikely that these delays are postal-system problems. In distinct contrast, on March 27 when Opalco requested its agent to create two "disconnect" letters, their Missouri agent promptly printed, presorted, and mailed them. Subsequently, the postal system had them delivered here on Lopez on March 30, just three days after Opalco had initiated these letters.
With respect to the monthly-statement delays, Opalco has suggested that they may be occurring at the Lopez Post Office or elsewhere in the postal system. However, it is time for Opalco to stop playing the "blame-game". It's time for Opalco to responsibly take ownership of this statement problem and get it fixed. Why aren't these statements available for viewing or downloading at Opalco's secure website?
I have three accounts, all paperless now. Simple. Fast.
Thanks for the research on Opalco's obligations under the state's regulations (WAC 480-100-178). The regulations which you have quoted require that there be a "minimum time allowed for payment after the bill's.... Read all
Years ago Opalco issued statements county-wide at the end of every month. Several years ago they put Lopez and probably some other areas onto a mid-month statement-cycle. I suspect that all Opalco statements are being prepared and.... Read all
It is the responsibility of the utility to submit an invoice. This has been the case for every utility or service that I have had and is also.... Read all
By the way, the statements are available on Opalco's website, in the billing history.