Viewer response to our story Tuesday night on over billing at Missouri American Water came quickly.
The story on our KQ2 Facebook page has received dozens of likes, shares and comments.
One of the comments read: "Last month our bill was $10.04 this month it was $150???"
Another said "...$45 a month for three years, then I get 1 (sic) bill for $200."
This comes after a St. Joseph couple received a $1,600 water bill for one month of service.
"Typically how an estimate is arrived at is you look at the address and we go back to the previous year at the exact same time and get that usage," said Christie Barnhart from Missouri American Water. "That's what we'll use for the estimation, so this is puzzling."
In addition to the high bills, customers are complaining about the poor customer service they've received from water company representatives when calling in to question the charges.
"Most of the responses were indifference and well, it's like we've heard this before," said Rodney Cundiff, the recipient of the $1,600 bill. "It's your fault. You were made to feel like you were a criminal."
Barnhart has a recommendation for callers who might feel mistreated by water company staff.
"Have a pen handy and take the name of the rep they talked to," Barnhart said. "That way, if someone has an issue where they feel they've been treated rudely it allows us to go back and thoroughly investigate that. When we don't have a name it makes it very difficult to come up with a resolution. I encourage customers to do that."
After doing some research on water usage at the KQ2 office, we found that we had also been overcharged. Our most recent water bill was about ten times the amount than it usually was.
Like many of the other billing errors, the KQ2 bill was an estimate and not an actual meter reading.
"Customers that have received these bills with estimates need to contact our customer service center and need to request that there be a review done of their account so that we know that this is happening and we can look into it and resolve their concern," Barnhart said.
If you believe you have a problem with your water bill, call Missouri American Water customer service at (866) 430-0820
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