A Mississippi Public Service Commissioner has addressed reports to his office of utility companies not accepting cash as a method of payment to pay Mississippi residents utility bills.
From PSC Brandon Presley:
CASH FOR UTILITY BILLS? It’s come to my attention this morning that some utility customers are being told that they CANNOT pay in cash. Let me be clear, this is unacceptable and we will not tolerate anyone’s service being disconnected because they attempted to pay in cash and were refused. That type of policy is totally contrary to the basic principles of paying a bill.
Having said that, it is completely reasonable for utility companies to attempt to avoid internal issues caused by the national coin shortage. Reasonable (key word here) attempts to mitigate this problem are acceptable, but in no way should infringe upon someone’s right to pay with cash.
Here’s an example of a reasonable policy:
If I go to pay my $24.50 water bill and the company is attempting to not run short of coins and so they tell me they can’t give me my fifty cents back. If they offered me the option of paying the whole $25.00 and I would then receive a fifty cent credit next month or that I could pay $24.00 and owe an additional fifty cents next month then that would be reasonable and cause no irreparable harm to either party.
Attempting to help mitigate the issues surrounding the national coin shortage are commendable, if and only if, they are reasonable and do not infringe upon your right to pay with legal tender.