Customers to begin receiving letters about water billing error

Published On: Jul 05 2013 06:35:57 PM HST
Updated On: Jul 05 2013 07:23:25 PM HST

As KITV first reported some Oahu water customers will begin receiving letters in the mail tomorrow about a glitch with their water bills. It was a billing mistake that the Board of Water Supply caught after a flood of calls about outrageously high bills.

HONOLULU -

Some Oahu water customers will begin receiving letters in the mail tomorrow about a glitch with their water bills.

The Board of Water Supply told KITV in June that once it realized  that some customers were being overcharged, it began taking steps to get a handle on the problem.

The letters being sent to 26,000 affected customers acknowledged the mistake.  

  "The Board of Water Supply has discovered situations where some bills were being estimated when, in fact, actual meter readings were available," it read.    

 "It is being mailed area-by-area so not all the customers will receive one in the next couple of days," said Board of Water Supply chief engineer Ernest Lau.

Lau said the miscalculated bills are being canceled and recalculated, using the actual meter readings.

 Not everyone was overcharged--some customers underpaid for actual usage.

So what if you owe more than you can afford to pay right now??

”We are totally willing to enter into a payment plans what they can afford to pay each month to pay off the balance,” Lau said.

Lau assures that customers should not have to worry about being assessed for the  Board of Water Supply's mistake.

"We are not charging late fees to our customers and they do not have to worry about interest penalties for unpaid amounts on the bills,” said Lau.

Lau said while his department had been able to get the number of estimated bills down to 2 percent-- this problem  was flagged when an alarming 16% of its customers’ bills were estimated--and some for more than one billing period.

Lau said it may take a few billing cycles before the Board of Water Supply can tackle the backlog of problem bills.

It has hired temporary staff to try and expedite things.

If you think you have a problem with your bill, Lau said the waits for phone calls are still about a half hour-so you may get a quicker response if you go online.

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