Apex Woman Resolves Water Billing Situation With Town
Posted September 25, 2002
APEX, N.C. — When a Wake County woman found out she was being billed incorrectly on her water bill, she called Five on Your Side. However, she was able to resolve the situation herself.
Watching water use not only conserves, but it saves money on customers' water bills. Suzanne Mehta pays close attention to her water bills. She thought it was odd that her water charges were more than her sewer charges while her neighbors' sewer bills were higher.
"We thought we had the right amount on ours and they were wrong," Mehta said.
Mehta called the Town of Apex and a representative said Mehta's bills were wrong.
"I thought I owed them a lot of money because I wasn't paying enough sewer," she said.
It turns out Mehta was paying too much money and the town of Apex owed her more than $900.
"I told her to get out of here. It couldn't be true. I usually owe things instead of getting credits," she said.
The overpayment dated back to January 2000. A representative said that is how far computer records go back, but added that if Mehta could show paper copies of earlier bills, she may get more money back. Mehta found her bills and received another $573.
Mehta's neighbor also received money back, so Mehta called Five On Your Side to get the word out.
Apex Town Manager Bruce Radford said Mehta and her neighbor were charged the "out of town" water rate, which is double the "in town" rate.
"These are essentially key-punch errors," Radford said.
Radford said as soon as they realized Mehta's problem, they checked everyone's records. They found 62 other customers had also overpaid. Radford said almost $39,000 was refunded.
"It is a lot of money, but it was money made by honest error, so we were happy to refund it," he said.
Mehta said she is happy to get it back.
"It went right to my account. That way, I'm not going to be spending it on anything else. It will just have a credit on our account until we use it all up," she said.
Radford said the town is now going through old computer records from before 2000. If more incorrect charges are found, customers will get refunds. Radford said he feels certain all the problems were caught, but he said Apex residents find that their water bill is higher than their sewer bill, they should contact town officials.