‘I was thinking it was a scam’: Kissimmee utility company charging residents for decades-old debt

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Eliz Neilsen, 81, recently received a phone call from someone claiming to be from her utility company, KUA, the Kissimmee Utility Authority.

She was told she owed a back debt for electricity from a prior address where she lived in 1996, 25 years ago.

“I was thinking it was a scam,” Nielsen said.

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But she later learned it was no scam. When she received her bill, there was an extra charge of $98.89, which was labeled as an “adjustment” and “balance transfer.”

“No explanation, no record of where the bill came from, no date, no information, just an adjustment,” Nielsen said.

Neilsen said she has no recollection of missing a payment, and no longer has records going back that far. And since she has automatic bill pay, KUA just took the money out of her account.

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KUA confirmed it has a new report it started running in April that cross-references personal information with old debt, and said some customers are sent letters, while others are just receiving phone calls.

Nielsen said she questions how the company can just expect anyone to just believe they owe a debt from that long ago.

“I don’t know what’s going on but I do know 25 years is too long,” she said.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.