Surprise Switches Water Billing In-House After Complaints

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Monday, October 31, 2016 - 5:24pm
(Photo by Sky Schaudt - KJZZ)
Water faucet

Some West Valley cities have been plagued with customer complaints about water billing, most recently in Buckeye. Surprise is officially changing how it handles billing starting Tuesday.

Surprise previously outsourced water billing to private company American Water Enterprises. After a year of complaints about metering malfunctions, billing errors and improper water shutoffs, the city voted to buy out the contract in March and bring billing in-house.

Surprise Finance Director Lindsey Duncan says new software, contracts and 15 employees are in place, and has started monitoring meters for 55,000 customers.

“We had a significant improvement in those customer relations during that interim period, and with us getting more involved in those operations it became even easier for us to help resolve any challenges that anyone encountered,” she said.

In Buckeye, residents are calling the city with similar water billing complaints that Surprise fielded last year. Buckeye officials have set up a special hotline and email to address the problems.

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