January 7, 2019
Late payments, penalties and service cutoffs can await
Credit card draft program to end, signaling lapse in payment
MURPHY (January 7, 2019) Defaulting on utility bill payments, the penalties that may accompany late payments, and the possibility of interrupted service are all potentially negative results that may await some Murphy households.
“These negative and costly consequences are to be expected when residents fail to heed the urgency of ensuring their credit card payments are properly authorized through Auto Pay,” says Teresa Thompson, Customer Service Manager. “Only the customer has the ability to initiate this process, so we’re emphasizing that they should do so immediately.”
There are several hundred accounts within the City that are currently in danger of defaulting on utility bill payments because customers have not taken the appropriate action. Customers who fall into this category are those who have shared a credit card account number with Utility Billing and authorized a monthly draft from that card.
That credit card draft program ends on Feb. 15 with the destruction of all credit card account numbers that have been shared with the City.
Customers who regularly use cash, check or who are already enrolled and using Auto Pay are not affected.
As of Feb. 15, all customers who want to use a credit card for payment of utility bills must be enrolled in Auto Pay by visiting http://murphytx.org/141/Billing-Payments. Enrolling in Auto Pay requires customers to enter the credit card credentials into a secure third-party portal, thereby increasing security and minimizing the number of people who have access to the card number.
“With the proliferation of security breaches involving credit card numbers, we are choosing to eliminate the transfer of card numbers from customers to staff,” said Thompson. “We are permanently destroying the card numbers we have on file. Between now and February 15, customers who have entrusted us with their credit card number must go online and start the Auto Pay process or choose a different way to pay their utility bills.”
Failure to take the appropriate action before the Feb. 15 deadline may result in some unwelcome penalties.
“We are hoping that everyone who is in this category takes the appropriate action as soon as possible,” she added. “We will not be in a position to undo any of the consequences once the system deletes the credit card numbers.”
As always, staff members are available to help any customer navigate the system. Customers with questions on how to complete the process can call Customer Service at 972-468-4100 or send an email message to email@example.com. Visits to the Customer Service desk, on the first floor of City Hall, 206 North Murphy Road, do not require an appointment. The office is open during normal business hours.