Paying on time saves you money. Every two months, we send the bill for utilities services you have already used. Every customer is then given three weeks to send in their payment. By the Delinquent After (due) date, we’ve carried the cost of providing you service for 11 weeks. We’re okay with that. However, in order for us to pay our bills on time, you need to pay yours on time too.
If your payment has not been received and credited to your account by the Delinquent After (due) date, you will be assessed a late payment fee for any balance greater than $5. This fee will be calculated at the rate of 10% of your bill with a minimum of $1 and maximum of $500. Payments “in the mail” are not exempt from this late payment fee. Your payment must be posted to your account.
Paying on time will prevent the added expense of a late payment fee and save you from being billed a delinquent deposit. One of the best ways to always make your payment on time is with our Autopay program. This program credits your payment on the date it is due – no sooner and no later.
Other Payment options:
- What is a late payment fee?
The late payment fee is a charge to a customer’s account when a payment has not been posted by the “Delinquent After” (due) date shown on the billing statement.
- How is my due date established?
As approved May 19, 1987, Resolution #87-198, Section 7.2.A established that “Bills are due when rendered and become delinquent twenty-one (21) days after billing.”
- When is the fee assessed to my account?
It is charged after the “Delinquent After” (due) date passes and a payment has not been received and posted to your account. This will typically occur on the 22nd day after billing.
The below schedule is an example of actions taken by Pinellas County Utilities when an account is past due (payment due date in this example is Monday, May 14, 2018):
- 2 days after due date, a courtesy call is made (if a phone number is on file)
- 3 days after due date, a delinquent bill is generated and mailed to the account
- 3 days after due date, a Late Fee is assessed to the account
- Late Fee is 10% of account past due amount with the minimum of $1.00 to a maximum of $500.00 past due
- 7 days after due date, a second courtesy call is made (if a phone number is on file)
- 11 days after due date, a pre-termination letter is delivered with a fee of $18.00
- 15 days after due date, the account is disconnected with a fee of $21.00
Once payment is made to restore service, a reconnection fee is assessed - $32.00 for same day service or $19.00 for next day service.
- How much is the late payment fee?
On balances owed (greater than $5.00) that are not received and credited to your account by the “Delinquent After” (due) date on the billing statement, the late payment fee will be 10% of the charges due, with a minimum of $1.00 up to a maximum of $500.00.
- What happened to the grace period?
There never was a grace period. The payment must be received and posted by the “Delinquent After” (due) date.
- If my payment is mailed or placed in the drop box on the “Delinquent After” (due) date, will my account be charged a late payment fee?
Yes. If you are paying on the “Delinquent After” (due) date, you need to deliver the payment to staff at the Clearwater Office Payment Processing Center at 14 S. Fort Harrison Ave. Your payment must be posted to your account in order to avoid the late payment fee.
- What payment options are available to avoid the late payment fee?
The best method is to register for the Automatic Bank Payment plan. Another option available is to pay online with Visa or MasterCard. You can also continue to pay by mail, use our drop boxes or walk-in payment center. It is important that the method you use will ensure the payment is received no later than the due date.
- Are late payment fees common?
Applying a late payment fee is common practice in the utility industry. Pinellas County Utilities is a latecomer in adopting this practice. Most public and private utilities have charged a late payment fee for years.
- Why is the fee assessed to my account?
By the time this fee is charged, PCU has carried the cost of providing utility services to the customer for almost 3 months.
- What revenue is expected to be generated from the late payment fee?
The late payment fee is not assessed to generate revenue and there is no expected amount. The fee is merely a tool to ensure customers pay on time.
- Where does the revenue from the late payment fee go?
Pinellas County Utilities will use the revenue to recover the costs of maintaining each delinquent account including billing, collections, and field service work.
- Who is impacted by late payments?
Every customer is impacted by those who pay late. All customers share in the costs of delinquent accounts.
- How does the deposit charge work?
If your account previously required a deposit, a second deposit will not be charged. However, delinquent accounts may be charged a deposit if there is not one currently on the account. Accounts which continue a delinquent pattern may be subject to an increased deposit.