Florida Power & Light Customer Asked to Pay Dead Father's Delinquent Bill | News
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - It is a strange story and hard to understand how it happened in the first place. A St. Augustine man was asked to pay $163 owed on a delinquent account by Florida Power and Light, on an account opened when he was just a youth.
Lifelong St. Augustine resident Richard McGuire, 53, rented a new place and signed up for electric service Monday with Florida Power and Light and paid his deposit. The lights were turned on, but he got a call the next day saying he owed FPL $163 .
"There was an outstanding debt to an account that matched my social security number which was in my father's name," said Richard McGuire who lives on Holmes Boulevard.
He was told that his father Randolph opened the account in 1968.
"But my father passed in 1963, when I was a young boy."
McGuire was just 4 years old when his father died. And what about that social security number used to open the account in 1968? McGuire says the problem is he wasn't issued his social security card until 1973, he was 14 years old in junior high school." That was 5 years after the account was opened in his father's name with his social security number.
That explanation got him nowhere when he appealed the delinquent bill. He was told the $163 would be added to his next bill.
"The company representative told me he was sorry but there was nothing he could do about it. I didn't see why I should have to pay that bill because I was nine years old when this account started, not knowing anything about a light bill."
McGuire got two light bills in the mail this Friday afternoon, one in his name, one in his father's name.
"I think it's really crazy, my father's been dead now for 49 years, here I am holding a light bill for him."
First Coast News called FPL to ask, in McGuire's words, what's wrong with you people? Spokesman Neil Nissan called us back less than two hours later and said, "It all seems to be a misunderstanding. FPL will not add this deliquent bill to Mr. McGuire's account. It is all taken care of."
It was good news to McQuire. "I was real happy to hear that, because I don't feel as though I should have been charged with that bill anyway. I really appreciate it."
McGuire was also given a credit for his $14 hookup fee.