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City of LB eliminates fee for online-utility payments

Officials also say that additional charges to be eliminated at select CVS, 7-Eleven stores for cash-only payments.

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Those who advocated against fees that were incurred for paying utility bills online might have a reason to be content this week, as a recent City decision has led to the permanent elimination of said charges.

The City of Long Beach’s Department of Financial Management announced in a press release Oct. 8 that those paying utility bills online will no longer be charged a convenience fee, effective that same day. Originally, the online service would charge utility customers $3.75 per payment and $0.95 per eCheck.

The City also wrote that utility customers can pay their bills, including shut-off notices, without an additional charge of $1.50 at all participating CVS Pharmancy and 7-Eleven locations starting Oct. 15. These payments must be made in cash and applied to accounts on the same day, according to the City.

For those paying a utility bill in person on or before Oct. 14, the City is instructing them to pay their bill at the same location they have previously frequented. For payments after Oct. 15, residents can access new locations that are listed in the image on Page X that utilize the “PayNearMe” service.

Residents can find a PayCode on the back of their printed utility bills or at longbeach.gov/utilityservices. On the website, users can select the “Pay As Guest” and “Cash” options, upon which folks can visit any participating store that is listed to make the payment.

PayCodes are unique for all billing accounts, according to the City, also adding that there is a maximum amount of $1,000 for each cash transaction.

The Long Beach City Council voted July 2017 to eliminate the convenience fees, a decision that was made in response to public requests. The item was moved forward to approve a new vendor to manage utility payments, according to the Department of Financial Management in an email to the Signal Tribune Oct. 8.

The email also noted that the City did not receive any of the previous convenience fees.

“Those fees were charged by the vendor to cover the cost of collecting and processing the credit card, debit card and e-check transactions,” according to the department.

For more information, visit longbeach.gov/utilitybilling, email [email protected] or call (562) 570-5700.

Infographic by Denny Cristales | Signal Tribune

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Serving Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Cerritos, Wrigley and Signal Hill
City of LB eliminates fee for online-utility payments