The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Online company taking town, PUD payments without permission

 

February 8, 2018



A utility payment processing company has been taking payments for both the Town of Cathlamet and Wahkiakum PUD utilities without permission and charging a fee as well.

"I have had two customers ask me why they have to pay $7 to pay their bills online," Cathlamet Clerk/Treasurer Kerrie McNally said Tuesday. "The town does not charge our customers for this."

Both the town and PUD began taking payments over the internet within the past 18 months.

McNally said that when a person does a search for the town, a search engine will show http://www.doxo.com as a site to make utility payments. The company has no arrangements with either the town or PUD to collect payments.

"It certainly looks legit, and if customers use it, they are charged an additional $7," McNally said.

Customers who go directly to the websites of the town or PUD can make the payments free of charge.

"The PUD has had the same problem," McNally said. "The DOXO website advertises that they collect payments for the town, PUD, Centurylink, DirecTV, etc."

The website is operated by a company called Novantis, which processes the customer's payment and sends a check to the town for the payment after collecting a $7 fee for the company.

"I have filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s office about this company," McNally said. "It is extra frustrating because we are switching over to our new online payment provider Xpress Bill Pay who offer auto pay, paperless billing and all kinds of other conveniences for our customers, and now I am concerned that they may be afraid to use it.

"I will be sending letters to our customers making them aware of the fact that if they go onto our website to pay, they can do it for free, etc.," McNally said.

 

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