TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa’s new water department billing system is causing headaches for many Tulsa residents.
For several months now, 2 News Oklahoma has received multiple complaints from people upset about issues related to their water bills.
The complaints range from not being able to get an agent on the phone to bills higher than normal.
The city says it all started when it transitioned to a new software system about a year ago. Ever since then it seems consumers have had nothing but frustration.
“This is just past the point of ridiculous,” Geneva Walker, a Tulsa water customer, said. “I will call in to find out how much I owe if I can’t find my bill or something like that and the automated system usually tells me something crazy like I have a payment arrangement in effect. I believe the last time I called they told me that my last payment was $8,000 and my water had just been turned off and that I still owed $400.”
Walkers says she believes the charges on her bill are inaccurate. She says her water bill jumped by about $100 and it happened around the time the city changed its system.
“I don’t feel like we wash clothes or do dishes anymore than we normally do,” Walker said.
She says she also can’t get anyone on the phone at the water department to dispute the bill so she goes ahead and pays it even though she doesn’t agree with it.
The city acknowledges there are problems and say they are working to fix them.
“It’s not the best senario," said Monica Hamilton, the 311 Customer Care Director said. "It’s not something we are happy with. Again it’s that situation that we are in and certainly we don’t want to frustrate anyone.”
Hamilton says to help consumers get to an agent faster they’ve hired 11 more and are in the process of training them.
“It’s our hope that certainly within six week, we have these folks trained and they’re on the phones. Within 6 to 8 weeks we’ll notice some improvement but it’s still going to be a couple months before they are really up to speed and can provide some assistance,” Hamilton said.
Walker says she would just like to get someone on the phone instead of the automated phone system giving her inaccurate information.
Hamilton says customers can have their meter re-read or dispute their bill but it could take some time to resolve it.
To pay a bill, people can go online, call 311, email firstname.lastname@example.org, pay in person at city hall or go to an authorized pay location.
Below is a list of authorized pay locations.
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