How to spot online misinformation about your utility accounts
At Spire, we're always looking for ways to keep our customers and communities safe. And that priority extends to online communities, too.
False information about how to dismiss or discharge past-due Spire account balances is out there online.
Follow these tips on how to spot misinformation:
- Check the source: The first step to making sure you don’t fall for an online scam or fake information is to pause and consider the source. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Did someone I trust share this information, and are they knowledgeable about this subject? If not, the information may be incorrect.
- If you’re looking at a website, does the website have a little lock symbol by the URL, meaning it’s a secure website? Are you looking at your utility’s normal website, or a community action agency’s website, that you’re used to doing business with?
- Is the person sharing this information qualified to give legal or financial advice?
- Do some fact-checking: At Spire, we provide online self-service options, including customer service options, an up-to-date list of payment assistance programs, and ways to pay your bill.
If you learn of a “new” way to pay your bill on social media or online that you don’t see on our official company website, it’s likely not real. Remember: When you sign up for utility service, you usually have a service agreement with that company – Spire included. In our case, we agree to deliver natural gas and maintain a safe, reliable system; customers who receive gas service agree to pay for their usage and associated fees on their monthly bill.
- Does it sound too good to be true? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That’s why it’s always best to check with Spire directly if you see something online you think may impact your natural gas bill.
In a world where:
• 3.7 million YouTube videos;
• 95 million Instagram posts; and
• 34 million TikToks
…are posted each day, it can be hard to know what’s true, what’s false and what’s fake.
When it comes to your daily bills, some untrue advice — no matter how well-intentioned — can be potentially harmful, especially if you have a past-due balance on your utility account.
What can I do to get caught up on my Spire — or other utility — bills?
If you’re worried about a past-due balance on any utility bill, the best thing to do is give the company a call to learn about your payment options. Installment programs, grants from local charities and federal assistance programs like LIHEAP are typically available year-round.
- At Spire, we have a dedicated team of customer support specialists working year-round to connect customers with real solutions to get caught up on bills, restore service and stay current on bills. This includes:
- Energy assistance events in the community
- Virtual webinars to educate the public on how to fill out a LIHEAP application
- Connecting community action agencies with an online portal to make direct pledges to qualifying customer accounts
- Personalized energy assistance planning that helps meet individual customer needs
(And that’s something that’s NOT too good to be true!)