GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Mississippi Power customers can now select how they'd like to receive their Kemper refunds. Monday was the first day of the selection process for customers to let the company know whether they want the money credited to their bill or a lump sum check.
Customers have the option to make their refund selection online or by phone, but many have elected to make their selection in person.
"We came out to see about the rebate check - that's what we want a check," said Audrey Reeves, a Mississippi Power customer who went to the Gulfport customer service office to file for her check.
Reeves was joined more than 39,000 people statewide who selected their refund option on the first day. According to Mississippi Power spokesperson Bill Snyder, everything is going as planned.
"We've had over 12,000 people make their selection online. We've had a steady stream of customers at our customer service center and we've also had a steady stream of phone calls. We have 90 people manning the phones as well. So all three options are still open, everything is going smoothly, and the process has begun," Snyder said.
Murphy Hargrove went to the Gulfport customer service center with a friend and said he wasn't surprised at the number of people waiting in line to make a selection.
"People been wanting their refunds, I've been hearing conversations about the refund and they've been waiting for this date," Murphy Hargrove said.
The refund is a result of a state Supreme Court decision earlier this year, which ruled that the rate hike to fund the Kemper Power Plant was illegal. The mistake is costing Mississippi Power more than $350 million in refunds to its customers. The Power Company estimated the average refund at $650.
Customers who went to the Gulfport customer service center Monday had a variety of plans for that money.
"Like everyone else - I'm going to spend it," said Paul Taylor, who already had a list of things we planned to do with the refund. "Things like clothing, early Christmas gifts, maybe going out to dinner - just the usual stuff."
Devan Williams, who isn't a customer at Mississippi Power anymore, said she is going to put the funds to good use.
"I'm gonna pay some bills, take care of my kids - what I'm supposed to do," Williams said.
Others said they opted to get the bill credit because it'll end up going to the power company eventually. Those who want a bill credit don't have to do anything, but those who want a refund check must call, go online, or go to a customer service office to complete the application process.
Customers have until October 30th to select their refund method. Refunds should be processed and begin being sent out for delivery November 9th.