Residents receive utility disconnect notices
COLUMBIA – Several Columbia residents received disconnect notices by error this week. Columbia utilities recently implemented a new billing system, which caused residents to pay and view their bills in a different way.
Nonetheless, customers who make their payments on time were sent disconnection notices. The malfunction occurred because a system flag wasn't set to exempt disconnect notices for people on budget billing when the amount they paid was less than the amount due.
According to a press release sent by Columbia Utilities, “this has been corrected but there will be additional customers who receive the notice because of the lag between when the mailings were sent and the identification of the problem.”
“Well as long as people pay their bill, they will not be shut off,” Columbia utilities assistant director Jim Windsor said.”
In addition to this error, some customers may have received a legitimate disconnect notice due to non-payment. This would include customers on payment plans. While customers on payment plans are delinquent, they will not be disconnected as long as they uphold the terms of their plan.
“I hope that customers understand that we are working through this process, we hope that they like the new bills, and the information that’s on them,” Windsor said.
Customers with questions can call 573-874-7380 or visit the Utility Customer Service Office at City Hall, 701 E. Broadway, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.