Allen water customers say the city overcharged them

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:43 PM

ALLEN - Some water customers in Allen say the city is billing them for water they didn't use.

According to their bills, the monthly amount of water they use suddenly doubled, tripled or in some cases, was five times higher than normal. The city is vowing to make amends to those who were overcharged.

Sunny Hassan said his family is always conscientious of how much water they use. His daughter uses a timer when she brushes her teeth. So when their latest water bill came, they were in disbelief.

“They claimed that we had used four-and-a-half times more water than we ever did in the last five-and-a-half years," Hassan said.

The Hassan's bill more than doubled.

“We were like, 'It's not possible. We do everything to save water here,'" Hassan said.

At least three of the Hassan's neighbors also contacted News 8 about a sudden hike in their water bills.

One man told us his usual monthly water consumption is 10,000 gallons. It increased to 92,000 gallons.

The city admitted it was a mistake.

"I can't explain that," said Steve Massey, Allen Community Services Director. "We knocked his 92,000 gallons back to 10,000 gallons and adjusted his bill by over $500 in an attempt to try to take care of him and be fair.”

The Hassans weren't that fortunate.

"They claimed that we have used the water again and again,” Hassan said.

Massey said the city will work with customers on a case-by-case basis, and make fair adjustments in cases where mistakes were made.

"We have looked into this, and the explanation we come up with is either an equipment error reading the meters, or a human error reading the meters," Massey said.

With Allen sending out more than 26,000 water bills every month, Massey said some mistakes are inevitable.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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