Surprise Switches To In-House Water Billing After Year Of Complaints

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, March 7, 2016 - 5:05am

After dozens of complaints, the City of Surprise voted this week to change the way it bills water utility customers.

City staff has logged complaint calls about metering malfunctions, water and sewage service being shut off despite on-time payments, and billing errors.

The company currently handling water and sewage billing is American Water Enterprises. A unanimous vote by the city council means in a few months, billing will be done in house.

Breaking that contract will cost the city $455,000, plus $300,000 to build office space.

Surprise finance director Lindsey Duncan said American Water Enterprises switched software 14 months ago, which led to this decision.

“During that time they experienced some challenges with that transition," she said. "Customers started being impacted with the timeliness and accuracy of their bills.”

In a statement, American Water said it respects the decision and will work to make the switch a smooth one.

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