A warning for Metropolitan Utilities District customers, a third party service may fool you into going through them to pay your water or gas bill for a fee.
“It’s easier than writing out a check." Victor Visty of Omaha pays his MUD bill by credit card, but he's discovered a website has muddied the water for paying online. “They make you think its MUD doing it but it’s really not, it's a checking service." Victor realized that when a $5 fee popped up on his Internet payment to MUD.
“You don't have to pay a fee to make your MUD payment,” says MUD vice president Mark Doyle.
Customers are getting an email leading to the third party payment website called Check. “I think it’s a legitimate company out there that does bill pay for customers, but they charge them a fee for it and I just don't think this is very clear that it's not us,” says MUD vice president Deb Schneider.
Confused customers could pay their MUD bill through the service with a fee or MUD online for free. Put the online payment pages side by side and one difference you’ll notice is MUD has its logo on their site while the third party payment service does not.
Victor says he didn't notice the difference right away. “Yeah, well I felt like they were trying to fool me into extra charges." But does the payment service pay an MUD customer’s bill? “We have not confirmed if we are taking payments through this vehicle,” says Schneider.
Like the water he pays for, Victor says the bill paying service called Check needs to be crystal clear. “It don't mention anything at all about it not being MUD.”
MUD staff will monitor the third party payment service to see if it crosses a line by misusing logos or customer information. The utility doesn't know how many of its 200,000 customers received an email from Check. A Fact Finders message left with the company has not been returned.