TROY, Mich. -

Patricia Roberts has used the Consumers Energy budget plan at her Troy home for about 10 years.

"To me that made more sense because it evened out my monthly bill," she told Ruth to the Rescue.

This year, due to a mild winter and falling fuel prices she ended up overpaying by about $1,400. All Customers have the option of leaving the credit on their account to pay future bills, or they can ask for a check. Patricia felt the $1,400 was too much to leave sitting in the custody of Consumers Energy.

Customer frustration

As Patricia made several attempts to claim her refund, she says she was getting the runaround and promises to send a check were broken.

"I said I'm being persistent, I'm not working, I'm retired, I've got the time and stuff like this irritates me. How many people out there are trying to get their refund," Roberts said.

"We were aware that we were kind of bogged down, but Ruth to the Rescue did bring the problem to our attention," said Debra Dodd, spokesperson for Consumers Energy.

She says the company was slammed with 10-thousand requests for refunds this year. And, some customer service reps just didn't have the correct information.

"We hope that's been corrected- we've given more training tips out to our employees. Like I said, we put a couple more processes in place that should speed everything up," she told Ruth to the Rescue.

Dodd says employees are working overtime to clear the backlog by the end of the week.

Patricia Roberts did get her check on June 18, after starting the process back on May 9. She's happy to have the refund, and said this about the experience.

"It does show that when someone speaks up their voice is heard."