Couple Gets $51,000 Electric Bill

We often expect our electricity bills to be higher at the end of summer. But for one East Texas couple the latest bill skyrocketed to a ridiculous extreme.

Donn and Glow Holein are suffering from sticker shock. This week, Glow opened a Disconnection Notice from TXU. It said they owed $51,213.86. Pay up by next Tuesday or else.

Donn says the problems actually started earlier this year. "in February we had a bill that said no payment due and we had a credit. March, the same thing, and I decided that was wrong. So, I called TXU and told them there was a problem." TXU agreed so they installed a new meter. But that didn't solve the problem either. "We did not receive another bill until October, when we received this Disconnection Notice. That's the first we've had since last April."

The bill would have averaged out to $8,500 a month. So Donn called TXU back, again. "They're going to review it and they gave us an internal extension, whatever that means." Hopefully it means the Holeins won't need an extension cord until the bill can be corrected.

TXU says the $51,000 bill is a mistake. It's the result of one computer system not communicating properly with another computer system. The company did want to thank the Holeins for being patient and say there is no chance they will be disconnected because of this.

Stephen Parr, reporting.