Columbia Water customer billed ten times normal amount due to system error

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 11:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - For 30 years, Theresa Seaberg hasn’t had a problem with her water meter. That is, until she got her latest bill on Saturday.

“The bill was over $1000,” Seaburg said. “It was $1063.39.”

Theresa and her husband are the only two living in the home, and she says they didn’t do anything in the past month that would cause their bill to be ten times higher than its typical amount.

She called a plumber to make sure there wasn’t a leak and then called Columbia Water to try and figure out what was wrong. Initially, she was told they’d still have to foot the bill.

“That we would have to make a payment to, you know, keep the water on,” she said.

That’s when she wrote to WIS. We contacted Columbia Water on Wednesday afternoon, and a short time later, representatives corrected Seaberg’s bill.

We reached out to Columbia Water and they told us Seaberg was “billed incorrectly” after her “information was not updated appropriately” in the customer billing database when a new meter was installed.

Representatives say they’ve apologized, and the bill has been corrected. Columbia Water officials recommend that all customers with a new meter download the “Eye On Water” app, which is said to let customers track the water usage in real-time as well as set up leak notifications. They can sign up here.

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