FairPoint billing glitch charges customers twice

FairPoint Communications said on Wednesday it suffered a billing glitch that caused 1,400 customers in northern New England to get billed twice for monthly service.

Those customers, who were billed on Jan. 6, faced two charges for monthly service. A refund was issued on Jan. 7 to resolve the incorrect charge, said FairPoint spokesman Jeffrey Nevins.

The billing problem, caused by an outside vendor, only affected customers who signed up for “auto pay,” which automatically charges a credit card for the monthly service fee, Nevins said. FairPoint did not identify the vendor.

FairPoint provides telephone, Internet and television service in 18 states.

Survey shows strong gains in new jobs in December

A private survey shows U.S. businesses added the most jobs in a year in December, powered by a big gain in construction.

The figures are the latest evidence that the economy gained momentum at the end of 2013.

Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies added 238,000 jobs in December, up slightly from 229,000 in the previous month. November’s figures were revised higher.

The report showed solid gains in higher-paying jobs.

Construction firms hired 48,000 additional workers in December, the most since 2006.

The ADP numbers cover only private businesses and often diverge from the government’s more comprehensive report.

Auto and student loans behind rise in borrowing

Americans increased their borrowing in November, led by continued gains in auto and student loans.

The Federal Reserve said consumers increased their borrowing by $12.3 billion in November to a seasonally adjusted $3.09 trillion. That is a record level and follows an October increase of $17.9 billion.

Almost all of the November increase came from an $11.9 billion rise in borrowing for auto and student loans.

– From staff and news services