Thurmond outlined the government's efforts to replace water meters, correct math errors, resolve disputes, upgrade billing systems and improve customer service — efforts he hopes will greatly reduce billings inaccuracies.
Most of those efforts will take time, but Thurmond says the county is close to stabilizing billing systems in the short term.
One resident, Randy Harling of Stonecrest, said he received a bill of $1,395 for two months of water usage. He said he struggles to get his phone calls to customer service representatives returned.
“That’s not a little deal. That’s a lot of money,” Harling said. “It’s been over a year. Nobody has called me.”
Thurmond, hosting his third water billing session, apologized again for the county’s billing mistakes and said he’s taking responsibility for repairing the system.
Several residents said they understood the magnitude of the problem, but the county has a long way to go. Customer service representatives need to stop blaming residents for their bills, provide accurate information and follow up on their promises.
“Stop telling us the meter is right and accurate. Anything manmade has flaws,” said Phyllis Wallace of Ellenwood, who said her $300-plus bill was too high. “It’s just me and my husband. There’s no reason my bill should be extremely high.”
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