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Utility concerned about bill payment company

A local utility is cautioning residents about a third-party bill payment service.

Recent bills from Corinth Gas & Water include a statement about the business: "doxo.com and their bill payment service is not affiliated with CG&W."

Doxo, which describes itself as "the simple, secure way to pay your bills," is a legitimate business that has gained some attention for its "all-in-one" payment approach, but the service has caused concern among public utilities.

Corinth Gas and Water does not currently offer online bill payment, but, when someone does a Google search for Corinth Gas and Water Department, Doxo shows up in the first five results under the heading, "City of Corinth Gas & Water (MS): Login, Bill Pay, Customer Service." The site appears to suggest it is an authorized source of payment.

"I want to make sure the general public knows that site has no affiliation with us," said CG&W Manager John Rhodes. "If someone goes through them, it's basically at their own risk."

Various published reports describe problems caused by a delay between a person making the payment through Doxo and a utility company receiving the funds. Doxo charges a fee for making the payment.

The authorized bill payment options for Corinth Gas & Water include automatic bank draft, credit or debit card payments in person or by phone, and the old-school method of mailing a check. The utility is moving toward accepting online payments.

"We are in the process of upgrading our software and will add that, hopefully by the end of this year or early next year," said Rhodes. "We've had a lot of customers request it."