If you get a letter from Emera that looks like the bill from hell, don’t panic. It’s likely a computer error.

I got home from work on Friday and, I have to admit, my nerves were already a little frazzled after a challenging day. Grocery shopping had to be scrapped because my day ran longer than expected, and so I was distracted by what still needed to be accomplished during the afternoon and whether I’d have time to run to the store or if it was going to be another takeout night. Stopping at the mailbox, I was surprised to pull out an envelope from Emera, because we’re enrolled in paperless billing. But I figured it was probably an announcement about the recent acquisition by Versant.

When I pulled out a letter detailing our ‘payment arrangement,’ I was confused. Yes, Jim and I had entered into a payment arrangement with Emera a couple months ago, when circumstances led us to fall slightly behind. Note the word ‘slightly.’ But before that arrangement could take place, we got our stimulus payments, paid the full balance due, and forgot about it. So why was Emera/Versant sending us a bill with….wait…..a payment arrangement on $1,300? What? The bill I received on Friday says we wouldn’t owe a penny til July and then we’d start owing nearly $400 monthly (two $190 payments per month) through the end of October. I remembered, at this point, that I had sent an email to Emera/Versant asking why the amount due on my newest bill was $0.

I met Jim at the door when he walked in just a few minutes later, and showed him the letter. He immediately picked up the phone and called customer service. Mind you, he was a little heated when he was punching in those numbers. So, I was surprised when he stopped talking halfway through explaining the situation to the representative and then started laughing. He thanked her, gave her a funny ‘Happy Friday’ and hung up.

As it turns out, the company has experienced a computer glitch, during the switchover from one company to the other. And their phones were ringing off the hook from people experiencing the very same issue. The computers had sent out these ridiculous bills and people across Maine were feeling just as shocked and upset as we were. She told us to ignore it, that the balance on our actual bill was what was owed, and apologized for the mistake.

Thank you to the customer service department at Emera or, I guess it would be Versant, for their good humor, kind nature, and endless patience. We hope your weekend is quieter than your Friday.

If you receive a bill that seems wrong, contact Customer Service at 1-855-363-7211.