Customers complain water company not addressing meter reading errors

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LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) –

People living in a Lexington County subdivision say they noticed charges on their water bills, claiming they were much higher than usual.

“That’s just inexcusable. It’s water. It’s basic water and sewage,” said Melissa Goforth.

Carolina Water Services Incorporated sent a notice to affected residents in the Golden Pond subdivision about the issue. The notice is dated October 4th and it states one of its contracted meter readers incorrectly entered consumption readings, making bills abnormally low or, in the case of some customers, too high.

“We’ve got to do a meter re-read, step one; step two, get a meter test to make sure there’s no leaks; step three, call back, complain, and speak with an operation supervisor who may adjust the bill from that point on,” Goforth said, a frustrated water customers who’s on step three.

Her water bills run from $80 to $100 dollars on average — until recently.

“I missed this one but they increased it to $201.34. Here we are $215.22,” she said, looking at another monthly bill.

Goforth is not alone. Others say they’ve called, like her neighbor Lauren Stalvey, in the same boat. The water company said it will address the issue but some customers say they’re getting a different story

“They’re basically offering payment plans for myself and other people in our subdivision essentially for their mistake, and quite frankly the nerve of the company to offer payment plans for something that was their mistake is outrageous,” Stalvey said.

Carolina Water Services says a contracted meter reader was incorrectly entering water meter readings. The person reading those meters has been fired.

Since then, several customers who contacted WIS say they’ve called the company multiple times trying to get those charges reduced or dropped altogether, but they say that’s not happening.

So we took their concerns and frustrations to the water company, who told WIS customers who saw unusual charges on their water bills need to call customer service.

“Well they need to call us directly again, we’ve provided them with a customer service number, call us and we will work with them and we will work with them individually,” said Robert Yanity with Carolina Water Service. “Somebody is going to answer their calls. They need to call us and make sure that we’re talking to them.”

As of Friday morning the customers who contacted WIS said they haven’t had their bills adjusted yet, despite their reported calling.

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