Nearly a year after billing upgrades, customers still waiting for correct bill

The Sewerage and Water Board has promised changes to fix billing issues, but some customers are dealing with new issues, while others have been waiting for an entire year and counting.

The Sewerage and Water Board has promised changes to fix billing issues, but some customers are dealing with new issues, while others have been waiting for an entire year and counting.

"$886," Albert LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc was startled to see his November bill.

"I got it Thanksgiving. I looked online."

He said it nearly gave him heartburn before even eating anything.

"It went from .2 to 68.6," he pointed to his bill.

That translates to 200 to 68,600 gallons in a month. LeBlanc says that's not possible because he measures and stores water he uses in pots. 

"Maybe 100 to 200 gallons of water."

He's one of many customers who are frustrated by billing issues.  

"Obviously there's a problem that is very understated," Paul Rainwater said.

At a meeting on November 15th, Rainwater who is on the board's emergency management team, says things have to change on the business side, including updating billing software, retraining customer service workers, as well as hiring more.

Eyewitness News contacted the Board Monday and they told Eyewitness News they are working on additional software upgrades at this time, but could not give a deadline.  

"$2475.96," Cindy Nguyen said.

Nguyen not only has billing issues, she is also worried about getting her money back. Back in March, Nguyen showed us her bills from 2016. They used to be about $100 or so. Then last December she says an error led to her usage skyrocketing from 7,000 gallons a month to 260,000 gallons a month.  

"It makes me very stressful, sometimes you know I have high blood pressure."

She says crews came out and never found a leak, but she was still forced to pay very high minimum payments. So for now, she joins other customers like LeBlanc in hoping the Board will fix her bill before the holidays.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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