S&WB addresses billing complaints that appear to be anomalies

S&WB acknowledges billing overages with new system

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board is offering assurances to an elderly Holy Cross woman that her water won't be cut off, but she believes the board owes her thousands of dollars.

For anyone who lives on a fixed income, wildly fluctuating bills are the enemy. Carolyn Parker said she received a $249 bill on March 22,  a $410 bill on Jan. 19 and a $338 bill in December of last year.

"It's taking all the money I have saved up," Parker said. "Everything's gone."

Parker said for the last two years she has been over-billed hundreds of dollars a month, and she wants something done about it.

"Sewerage and Water Board keeps telling me I have to pay this, and I don't know why it's so much higher than all the other senior citizens," Parker said.

Parker acknowledges that a water line was cut on her side of the meter. But she said she's been consistently overcharged in spite of the fact that she had it fixed.

"I don't know what's going on," she said.

She's not the only person having problems. Leslie Poche, who lives on Napoleon Avenue, said her latest bill increased by $100 for no apparent reason.

"The most recent bill I received was $184 for the month," said Poche.

Another resident, Anna Lecorgne, said her bill jumped to $664 in September of last year. Normally it would have been $75.

A spokeswoman for the Sewerage and  Water board said out of 134,000 customers, only a handful are having problems with the new billing system. She said there is no overall problem, and if one pops up they'll deal with the customer.

We talked to the S&WB about Parker's bill, and they gave assurances that they would deal with the problem. They said Parker has been reimbursed, and the only thing she owes them now is her monthly water fee of around $54.

The board spokeswoman said if Parker isn't satisfied, they will grant her a hearing and do the same with others having problems.

FOX 8 heard from several other people who say their bills have recently been inflated under the new billing system. The S&WB urges them to contact its billing department and promises to address any issue as they arise.

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