Jean Swarthout says she’s experienced issue after issue when it comes to her Central Hudson electric bill.

“The last month, they charged me $24 for electric, and it was an actual reading," she said. "Now, most people would just shut up and pay it, But my problem is: What does that mean for the next month?”

She’s not alone.

An investigation by the Public Service Commission found the utility company guilty of numerous violations related to its billing process that affected thousands of customers. It’s an issue that led to the ousting of CenHud CEO Charles Freni, after calls from elected officials to step down.

What You Need To Know

  • Utility company Central Hudson faced an investigation by the Public Service Commission that revealed errors in their billing practices

  • Following public pressure from local officials, former CEO Charles Freni stepped down

  • He's replaced by Christopher Capone, a veteran of Central Hudson

Christopher Capone, the new CEO, says the company will work to regain public trust.

“Bring in additional resources," he said. "So we are looking to hire upwards of 100 people, including 36 in our contact center. Those are the folks who actually answer the phones, have to work with our customers and want to solve those problems. But we're adding people across, really, the entire organization.”

Swarthout says what bothers her most is that she can’t get answers to the questions she has about her bill.

“Forget calling up," she said. "The [customer service workers] are very sweet, but they're at home. And when you say, ‘well, seeing you can’t help me do it, can I speak to a supervisor?’ They say, ‘Well, I'll give you a number and then I'll connect you.’ And then that never goes anywhere.”

Capone says Central Hudson is looking at adding more training so that its customer service reps can better answer customers’ questions.

“Our folks want to be trained as possible so that they can resolve the questions when they come in," he said. "We needed to do a little bit of a better job there, so we have been increasing that training and we'll be doing that going forward. Training really is a linchpin along with adding new people.”

Swarthout is not sure about Capone’s answer, but thinks the company needs to be more transparent in its billing process and prove to its customers that it’s serious about taking steps to fix these issues.

“That still doesn't make the bill itself clear, OK? And the bill itself needs to be clear," she said. "And maybe they could send out a letter with the new bill and explain the bill.”