Why can’t I give my credit card information to Heartland staff over the phone?

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance is a set of rules and guidelines that businesses (including Heartland) that handle credit card information are required to follow as part of their agreements with card processing companies. Think of it as a security checklist to make sure that credit card data is kept safe and protected from hackers and thieves. We follow these rules so that the cooperative and our members are protected from things like hacking and stealing of your information.

PCI compliance requires Heartland to use safe ways to handle your credit card info. The fewer people who have access to your info, the better. Sharing credit card information from person to person over the phone just isn't as safe as other methods. We strongly recommend using SmartHub on the web or app, but other good alternatives include using our automated payment phone line or paying in person. We have a wealth of resources to help you get started on our SmartHub Member Portal Guide, and you are always welcome to call us at (800) 835-9586 for assistance.

I mailed my check before the due date but was charged a late penalty. Why?

As a member, it is your responsibility to ensure your payment is received at the office on or before the due date – regardless of when you mailed your check. Slowdowns in the mail service over the last few years have resulted in more members struggling to get their payments to us in time. For that reason, we highly recommend using another form of payment if possible. See our Payment Options page for more information.

Does Heartland follow the Cold Weather Rule?

While Heartland is not required to follow the Cold Weather Rule established by the Kansas Corporation Commission, Heartland's board of directors has elected to adopt its own version of the policy. See below for details.

(1) The provisions of the COLD WEATHER RULE establish the disconnection procedures for delinquent accounts of any Residential Customer of the Cooperative throughout the cold weather period, which extends from November 1 through March 31.

(2) The Cooperative will not initiate the disconnection process for Residential Customers’ service between November 1 and March 31 when the National Weather Service office forecasts the temperature to drop below 35 degrees (the activating temperature) within the following 48 hour period unless:
(a) It is at the Customer’s request;
(b) The service is abandoned;
(c) A dangerous condition exists on the Customer’s premises;
(d) The Customer violates any rule of the Cooperative, which adversely affects the safety of the Customer or other persons, or the physical integrity of the Cooperative’s delivery system; or (e) The Customer causes or permits tampering as defined in section 6.J.
In any of these situations, the Cooperative may disconnect the service immediately. Services disconnected under (c), (d) or (e) above may be restored as soon as possible after the physical problems defined in (c), (d), and (e) above have been corrected.

(3) To avoid disconnection during the cold weather period and qualify for the benefits of the COLD WEATHER RULE the Customer must meet the requirements of the GOOD FAITH TEST. To meet the requirements of the GOOD FAITH TEST, the Customer will:
(a) Inform the Cooperative of the Customer’s inability to pay the bill in full;
(b) Give sufficient information to allow the Cooperative to make payment agreement;
(c) Make an initial payment of the most recent bill for consumption plus one-third of the arrearage;
(d) Enter a level payment plan agreement for past, current and future charges for electric service with arrears paid in equal installments over the next two months. The Customer and the Cooperative may negotiate other payment arrangements mutually agreeable, individualized to the Customer’s situation providing the most appropriate terms, after the Customer has been informed that he or she has at least two months in which to pay;
(e) Apply for federal, state, local or other funds for which the Customer is eligible;
(f) Not obtain electric service by tampering as defined in Section 6. J.; and
(g) Not default on a payment plan.

(4) In addition to fulfillment of the procedures outlined in Section 5, (with the exception of C.2., which is replaced with the more stringent requirement of (a) below), the Cooperative will:
(a) On the day prior to disconnection, make at least one telephone call attempt with the Customer of record or make one attempt at a personal contact with the Customer of record if telephone contact on that day is not made. If the Customer is not contacted during the phone call(s) or the personal contact the day prior to termination of service, the Cooperative
employee will leave a disconnect message on the door on the day prior to disconnect;
(b) On the day of disconnection, receive a 24-hour forecast above the activating temperature from the National Weather Service. If the temperature is then forecast to be below the activating temperature, the disconnection may not be carried out and the Cooperative must wait for another 48-hour forecast above the activating temperature to initiate the disconnection procedures;
(c) Inform the Customer in the telephone contact(s), the written notice, the personal contact and the disconnect message on the door, of the existence of the Cold Weather Rule and that the Customer can avoid disconnection by bringing the Customer’s electric bill current;
(d) Inform the Customer of, or provide a list of, organizations where funds are available to pay electric bills.

What is Heartland’s disconnection policy?

When a bill becomes past due, a charge of five percent is added to the bill and collection efforts will be initiated. HREC may disconnect service for a past-due bill 10 days after the date of mailing written notice to the member. If service is disconnected, all collection, disconnection and reconnection charges and all other utility charges must be paid before service is restored. Heartland will make every effort to restore service on the day payment arrangements are made, or no later than the next business day.

What happens if I don’t pay my bill?

Bills are considered past due if payment is not received by close of business on the due date shown on your bill. Past due bills will incur a 5% penalty. Service will be subject to disconnection 10 days after the account becomes past due. If you are struggling to pay your bill, please call us at (800) 835-9586. We can work with you to make payment arrangements or refer you to organizations that provide assistance.

What are my options for paying my bill?
  • Automatic Payments – Heartland allows you to set up automatic payments on your due date, which is typically the last business day of the month. You can set up automatic payments through SmartHub. Automatic payments can be made using your bank account or credit/ debit card. Contact us at (800) 835-9586 if you have questions.
  • SmartHub – Our free SmartHub service, available online and on your smartphone, allows you to make payments using your debit/credit card or bank account whenever and wherever you want. Visit our SmartHub Member Portal Guide page to learn more.
  • Automated Phone System – Heartland follows the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, which means our Member Service Representatives do not handle credit card payments over the phone. However, you can make credit card payments 24/7 using our automated system by calling (888) 999-5517.
  • Drop Off or Mail In – Payments can be dropped off at our Girard and Mound City offices, as well as at Community National Bank and Trust in Iola. Checks can also be mailed to the address listed on your bill. Please note that payments must arrive at our office on or before the due date in order to avoid late fees—even if the post office was responsible for delayed delivery. For this reason we strongly encourage other forms of payment.

Heartland members looking for an alternative to the monthly electric bill can select our Prepaid billing option, which is a pay-as-you-go method of paying for the power you use. Members who sign up for this program pay no upfront deposit, and have no late fees or connection fees if power is disconnected.