At Tuesday's City Council meeting, the council decided not to increase rates yet but they did come up with a new fee for users. No, we won't all be charged this fee so we shouldn't be outraged, but I do think that it's a bit ridiculous.

KFYO News reported that a $30 fee would be added to those who want to set up payment plans with LP&L. Now, you will only be charged the thirty bucks if you speak to a real person. If you go through the automated system (and we all know how great those are) you won't be charged anything.

So what's the big deal? In my opinion $30 is way too much to charge for a payment plan. Most companies have payment plans and most of the time, they are free. Mayor Tom Martin says that people are "gaming" the system because they were on payment plans. Really? If they are still paying, I say leave them alone. There are still people dealing with a bad economy and instead of working with them, you want to charge them another $30 bucks? LP&L representatives say that customers making payment plans clog up the system and this new fee will reduce the call load.

Who cares? It's called customer service, something LP&L isn't known for. Who cares if a lot of people are calling to set up payment plans? Isn't it good that they actually want to pay?

This is nothing more than a customer service fee for LP&L. Remember, only if you talk to a real person do you get charged the fee. LP&L isn't seen as having great customer service and this won't help them out any. Of course, since they have no competition, who cares?

If LP&L is hurting for cash that bad, why did they just hire 10 new full-time employees? I guess they can afford it with this new fee.

Look, I'm not outraged by this new fee. I just think it's bad PR and bad customer service. I think it shows that some people are out of touch and that the city will continue to nickel and dime us.