Terms and Conditions Automatic Bank Draft

Terms and Conditions for Automatic Bank Draft Service

Last Updated June 4, 2012

The following terms and conditions apply with respect to enrollment in and unenrollment from Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service for payment of electricity bills. This service allows users to authorize their electricity bills to be paid automatically, on a recurring basis for each billing cycle, by authorizing Cleco to draw a draft on an account at a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. Customers are permitted to unenroll from the service subject to these terms and conditions, regardless of whether a user enrolls online or through use of a paper draft authorization. Customers can also obtain forms for enrollment in and unenrollment from Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service by going to Payment Options at Cleco.com or calling Cleco at 1-800-622-6537.

Online enrollment in, and unenrollment from, Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service is also governed by the General Terms, Conditions, and Policies for the Use of Cleco's website and web services, which are accessible via the Cleco website. Please review all of the terms, conditions, and policies applicable to online enrollment in and unenrollment from the Automatic Bank Draft service each time this service is accessed online. Use of this service constitutes the user's agreement to abide by all terms, conditions, and policies governing this service.

These terms and conditions do not apply to Cleco's one-time Bill Payment service, under which users can make a one-time electricity bill payment by having Cleco debit an account at a bank, credit union, or other financial institution, or payments of Cleco electricity bills made by credit or debit card, which are transacted through Cleco's credit and debit card services vendor, Kubra, on their website. Customers can access Cleco's one-time Bill Payment service, and Kubra's website for credit and debit card transactions, at Cleco.com. Customers can enroll in the levelized Budget Pay billing plan service by calling 1-800-622-6537, and can make bill payments by credit or debit card by going directly to Kubra's website. Transactions using a credit or debit card will be processed pursuant to the terms, conditions, and policies established by Kubra, and will be subject to standard customer charges agreed upon by Cleco and Kubra with respect to such card payment(s).

1. Definitions

Unless otherwise provided, all defined terms used in these Terms and Conditions for Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service shall have the same definitions as set forth in the General Terms, Conditions, and Policies for the Use of Cleco's website and web services. The following definitions shall also apply:

"Bill Payment" refers to a payment authorized by a user to be made using Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service through Cleco's website.

"Billing Account," is a Cleco customer account for electric services as to which a user authorizes Bill Payments to be credited using Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service.

"Business Day" refers to any day other than a Saturday, Sunday, Federal Reserve holiday, Cleco holiday, or day when a bank or financial institution in which a Payment Account has been established is authorized by regulatory authority not to be open for business.

"Due Date" refers to the date when a Bill Payment is due, as set forth on a bill for electric utility services presented by Cleco.

"Payee" refers to Cleco Power.

"Payment Account" means the deposit account designated by a user from which Bill Payments are automatically debited using Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft Service.

"Payment Authorization" refers to the information (including but not limited to the Payee's name, user identification number, Billing Account number, and Payment Account number) provided to Cleco by a user for the purpose of authorizing Bill Payments to be debited from a Payment Account using Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service and paid directly to Cleco for credit to a Billing Account.

"Payment Date" refers to the Business Day on which a Bill Payment is made using Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft Service.


 

2. Enrollment In and Unenrollment From Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft Service

Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft Service allows a user to authorize Bill Payments to be made on a recurring basis for each billing cycle for utility services provided by Cleco. There is no fee for enrollment in or unenrollment from the Automatic Bank Draft service or for Bill Payments made by debit to a Payment Account. Enrollment in the Automatic Bank Draft service constitutes authorization for Cleco to debit a Payment Account for the amount of each electricity bill presented to the enrollee and to credit the payment to a Billing Account. Upon enrolling in the Automatic Bank Draft service, the enrollee's Bill Payments will be made on an ongoing basis by drafting a Payment Account beginning on the due date of the next utility bill issued to the customer after the date of enrollment into the Automatic Bank Draft service until such time as enrollment in the Automatic Bank Draft service is terminated. Customers can examine their utility bills to determine if they are to be paid by automatic bank draft. The words "PLEASE DO NOT PAY THIS BILL" will appear on bills to be paid by automatic bank draft.

Once a customer is enrolled in the Automatic Bank Draft service, if that customer's Bill Payment cannot be completed due to insufficient funds in the Payment Account or for any other reason and the account is flagged as a "Cash Only" account, the customer will be automatically unenrolled from the Service and no electronic payments or checks will be accepted from that customer during the following twelve-month period.

Customers may update their Payment Account designation on the Cleco website or contact Cleco Customer Service directly by telephone at 1-800-622-6537.

In the event a customer becomes unenrolled for any reason from the Automatic Bank Draft service, it is the sole responsibility of the customer to make all electric utility bill payments due to Cleco on a timely basis. Cleco shall have no responsibility for stopping a Bill Payment by automatic bank draft or for the mailing or other presentment of a paper utility bill, when such Bill Payment is already in the process of being made through a previously authorized automatic bank draft at the time a user requests that the Bill Payment be stopped or becomes unenrolled from the Automatic Bank Draft service.

3. Scheduling Bill Payments

Each Bill Payment made through the Automatic Bank Draft service is drafted from the customer's designated Payment Account and posted to the appropriate Billing Account on, or as close as reasonably possible to, the Due Date shown on the electric utility bill being paid.

If a Bill Payment fails to clear a Payment Account for any other reason after being posted to a Billing Account, the posting will be reversed and the customer may be subject to a late payment charge and/or other possible consequences for non-payment, including but not limited to being unenrolled from the Automatic Bank Draft service and/or having electric service suspended.

Due to circumstances beyond the control of Cleco, the receipt by Cleco of an online enrollment in the Automatic Bank Draft service, the posting of a Bill Payment to a customer's Billing Account, or the receipt of funds from drafting of a Payment Account may be delayed until after the Due Date. If receipt by Cleco of such a delayed Bill Payment or a delay in posting a Bill Payment to a Billing Account or receipt of funds from drafting a Payment Account occurs, any applicable late fee resulting from such delay will be suspended or refunded by Cleco if the Bill Payment was properly and timely authorized in accordance with all terms, conditions, and policies applicable to the use of the Automatic Bank Draft service. 


 

4. Authorization and Remittance of Payments

Issuance to Cleco of a Payment Authorization under the Automatic Bank Draft service constitutes the authorization for Bill Payments to be made by drafting the designated Payment Account until such time as the customer is unenrolled from the Automatic Bank Draft service. Cleco will draft such Payment Account so that Cleco will receive the Bill Payment on, or as close as reasonably possible to, the Due Date for the electric utility bill being paid. A user's designation of a Payment Account from which Bill Payments are to be drafted constitutes a representation that the user has all necessary legal authority to draw upon, and to direct that the Bill Payment be drafted from such Payment Account. Use of the Automatic Bank Draft service further constitutes the user's authorization for Cleco to credit the designated Payment Account for erroneous debits or charges made to such Payment Account.

5. Payment Cancellation Requests

Cleco's ability to address a request for cancellation of a Bill Payment will depend upon the timeliness of the request and whether the Bill Payment has already been entered into and/or cleared through the electronic payment process. After a Bill Payment has been scheduled and the process for debiting a Payment Account has begun, it cannot be cancelled by Cleco, and the customer's only recourse is to seek the entry of a stop payment order by the depository institution where the Payment Account is located. Cleco will make reasonable efforts to stop Bill Payments when a cancellation is received by Cleco at least 3 business days before the next scheduled draft of the customer's Payment Account. Although Cleco will use reasonable efforts to respond to a request to cancel a Bill Payment, Cleco can provide no assurance that a cancellation can be accomplished and will have no liability with respect thereto. In the event a customer's Bill Payment is canceled, the customer will be responsible for payment of any charges imposed by a depository institution in connection with the stop payment order and for making any necessary alternative arrangements to pay the customer's utility bills in a timely manner. As referred to above, late charges and other consequences can result from a failure to keep a customer's Billing Account current and in good standing.

6. Cleco's Responsibility

Cleco will use reasonable efforts to execute in a timely and proper manner all Payment Authorizations for Bill Payments  made through the Automatic Bank Draft service. However, neither Cleco nor its agents or vendors shall have any liability to users for the failure of any Bill Payment to be made in a proper and timely manner, where the cause of such failure arises from any one or more of the following: (1) insufficient funds in a designated Payment Account, (2) an incorrect or incomplete Payment Authorization provided to Cleco, including but not limited to an incorrect or incomplete name, address, phone number, or email address, or incomplete or incorrect Billing Account or Payment Account information, (3) any circumstance beyond the reasonable control of Cleco, its agent(s), or its vendor(s) including, but not limited to, flood, fire, failure or malfunction of computers or computer networks or the Internet, interruption of communication facilities, security breach, labor difficulties, terrorism, war, or other force majeure event(s) that would normally be an acceptable legal excuse or defense for non-performance of a contractual obligation, or (4) any other cause that is not the result of the gross negligence or willful misconduct of Cleco. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if Cleco is solely responsible for causing an incorrect amount of funds to be drafted from a user's Payment Account, executes a Bill Payment transaction that contravenes a user's valid Payment Authorization made in accordance with terms, conditions, and policies applicable to the use of the Automatic Bank Draft Service, or otherwise causes the misdirection or misapplication of a Bill Payment made pursuant to a user's valid Payment Authorization made in accordance with terms, conditions, and policies applicable to the use of the Automatic Bank Draft Service, the sole liability of Cleco with respect thereto shall be to correct such misdirected or misapplied Bill Payment by crediting the funds to the appropriate Billing Account or, if applicable, crediting any improperly transmitted funds back to the user's Payment Account. Other responsibilities and rights of Cleco are described throughout these Terms and Conditions with respect to enrollment in Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft Service and the General Terms, Conditions, and Policies for the Use of Web site and Web services. Cleco shall have no responsibilities, either express or implied, with respect to the Automatic Bank Draft Service, except as expressly set forth in the terms, conditions, and policies applicable thereto. Cleco reserves the right, exercisable in its discretion, to select the method by which Bill Payments are drafted from a Payment Account. Under no circumstances shall Cleco, its agent(s), or its vendor(s) be liable for indirect, special, or consequential damages.


 

7. User Responsibilities

It is always the responsibility of users of the Automatic Bank Draft service to contact Cleco directly if they do not receive their billing statements either electronically, by mail, or otherwise, and if any electronic Bill Payment transaction initiated by such user fails or is not processed in a timely and accurate manner.

It is the responsibility of each user of the Automatic Bank Draft service to review bills for electric services in a timely manner and to bring any errors, omissions, or questions to Cleco's attention. Suspected errors or omissions in an electric bill or questions about the Automatic Bank Draft service or any failed electronic Bill Payment should be promptly directed to Cleco Customer Service in one of the following ways:

  

  • Go to www.cleco.com and click on the Contact Us link
  • Telephone Cleco Customer Service at 1-800-622-6537
  • Write to Cleco Customer Service at:

Cleco Customer Service

PO Box 5000

Pineville, LA 71361

 

In reporting any suspected billing error or omission, a customer should be prepared to provide the name on the Billing Account, service address, Billing Account number, and a description of the suspected error or omission, failed electric Bill Payment, or question about which they are contacting Cleco, as well as the amount of any such suspected error or Bill Payment failure. If contacting Cleco by telephone, Cleco reserves the right to require that any question, suspected error or omission, or Bill Payment failure described by the customer be submitted to Cleco in written form within ten (10) days after they have contacted Cleco. Cleco will make every effort to respond to questions and advise the customer within a reasonable time of any actions to be taken in regard to suspected billing errors or omissions or Bill Payment failures. The process for addressing questions and suspected billing errors or omissions, or Bill Payment failures, with respect to a particular Billing Account may be governed by the utility regulatory statutes, regulations, rules, and/or procedures of the jurisdiction where utility service was provided for that Billing Account.

Online enrollees in the Automatic Bank Draft service must establish and maintain their user names and passwords for the use of such service, and are responsible for any action or inaction on their part that compromises the security of such user name or password or any other confidential user information. Enrollees in the Automatic Bank Draft service agree not to give or make available to any unauthorized individual their user names, passwords, or any other information by means of which any such unauthorized person might access a Billing Account, Payment Account, or personal information. Enrollees in the Automatic Bank Draft service also agree that they will not make use of someone else's user name, password, Billing Account number, or other personal information to gain unauthorized access to another user's Billing Account, Payment Account, or personal information. Any customer who believes that his or her user name, password, or other personal information has been lost or stolen, or that someone is or may be attempting to access such customer's Billing Account, Payment Account, or other confidential information without authorization, should notify Cleco Customer Service immediately by calling 1-800-622-6537 during normal customer service hours. Cleco reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to accept or deny any user's request to enroll in and make use of the Automatic Bank Draft service.  Cleco shall have no responsibility or liability for damages resulting from the theft or unauthorized use of a user's identification, password, Cleco account information or other confidential information including but not limited to the user's tax identification number, address, telephone number, credit card number, or bank account number.

 8. EXCLUSION OF WARRANTIES

CLECO'S AUTOMATIC BANK DRAFT SERVICE IS PROVIDED SOLELY AT THE DISCRETION OF CLECO AND IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY OR WARRANTY OF FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.


 

9. Amendment, Alteration and Termination of E-Bill Presentment Service

These Terms and Conditions applicable to Cleco's Automatic Bank Draft service may be altered or amended by Cleco at any time in its sole discretion. In such event, notice of such alteration(s) or amendment(s) will be provided to users electronically on the Cleco website or by email. Any use of the Automatic Bank Draft service after the giving of such notice shall constitute the user's agreement to such alteration or amendment. Use of the Automatic Bank Draft service constitutes the user's authorization for all notices under the service to be sent or posted electronically. Any such notice shall be deemed received by customers when electronically sent or posted by Cleco.

Cleco, in its sole discretion, may make modifications to, limit access to, or terminate the Automatic Bank Draft service at any time and for any reason without liability to any user or third party.