Wolcott Woman Frustrated by Collection Agency Runaround

NBC Connecticut Responds helped a Wolcott woman get her electric bill payment credited to her account after going back and forth with Eversource and the collection agency Convergent for months.

Sandra Santorelli will tell you she pays her Eversource electric bill on time each month. But last February, she said she missed a payment and received a notice from the collection agency, Convergent.

“I immediately paid it,” Santorelli said.

She confirmed that she made the $84 payment through Chase Bank’s online portal and that the check was cashed.

However, she said her electric bill account still had an outstanding balance. So, Santorelli contacted both Eversource and Convergent multiple times to find out why. But couldn’t get an answer from either agency.

“A few months later, I got another collections notice. I showed them proof of payment and I thought it was done,” said Santorelli.

But it wasn’t. In August, Sandra received a third collection notice stating she owed the money.

“I contacted Eversource and I said here’s my proof of payment. Here’s the money going through my bank account why isn’t being credited?,” said Santorelli.

Eversource claimed they never received the payment from Convergent. Santorelli said she contacted Convergent again to try and clear up the matter.

“They couldn’t answer me. But they did have my proof of payment,” added Santorelli.

Convergent admitted that they received the payment and Santorelli said the collection agency sent her a statement with a zero balance, eight months after she paid the bill. But the company didn’t give Santorelli a reason for the delay.

Meanwhile, Eversource indicated that they still had no record of her payment. So Santorelli asked Convergent to contact Eversource and vice versa.

When Santorelli didn’t hear back, she reached out to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), which oversees utility companies, to get both Eversource and Convergent to communicate with each other. But Santorelli told us, she got no response for PURA.

“It was very frustrating,” said Santorelli.

Finally, Santorelli turned to NBC Connecticut Responds and we touched base with Eversource, the collection agency, Convergent, and PURA.

Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross told us, “We understand Ms. Santorelli’s frustration and apologize for how long it took to resolve this matter. Unfortunately, the payment Ms. Santorelli made to the collection agency, Convergent, was misapplied and not reflected in her account. While this appears to be an isolated incident, we are reviewing our processes internally and with our outside collection agencies to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Convergent also apologized “for any inconvenience this error has caused Ms. Santorelli.” And as a result, Santorelli’s account is now at a zero balance saving her an additional $84 payment.

“You guys are fantastic and I can’t thank you enough,” said Santorelli.

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