NORTH MIAMI BEACH — Some North Miami Beach residents say they were stunned when they received water bills for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A city spokeswoman says 10,747 customers who pay their bills online through the customer service web portal received incorrect bills, adding that the problem has been resolved. But a number of residents were rattled.
The Nextdoor app was inundated with text messages from customers. One woman said her water bill was for $469,345.
A number of customers wrote, “Thank God I am not on auto pay.”
The city spokeswoman said no money was deducted from anyone’s account through Auto Pay.
Nancy Haddey told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that she received a bill for $275,335 when it should have been $279.
“I was really shocked and I said that was incorrect,” she said. “I am saying oh my God, that’s not my water bill. I did not know what to do so I said let me email the city of North Miami Beach customer service. I mean how could that happen? What if people think this is the real bill and they pay it. When I contacted North Miami Beach, they sent me an email saying there was a problem with the system and there was a glitch and they were going to fix it.”
Valerie Jennings said she received a water bill for $149,679 when it should have been about $239.
“I received a water bill for over $149,000,” she said. “I thought wow, something is wrong. So, I called my husband to find out did we have a leak some place and he said no leak would equate to that amount. Then I called the city and left a message, and I didn’t get through. So, I went to the neighbor thread, and I felt relieved because I found out it didn’t just happen to me.”
She continued, “I was just a little bit surprised I would get such a water bill. At first, I thought maybe I made a mistake. Maybe there was a decimal missing. I feel a little bit discouraged that now I have to go down there and pay my bill, but I am not going to pay that big bill.”
In a statement released to CBS4 News, Andrea Suarez Abastida, the director of North Miami Beach Water, said, “We recently implemented an update to our utility billing system. Following the update, the system experienced technical issues and created an incorrect notification that was sent to all residents on the Customer Service Web Portal. The issue has been resolved. We advised residents to please disregard the notification and instead refer to their correct statement balance printed on the bill they received in the mail.”
Valerie Jennings says she has lived in North Miami Beach for more than 30 years and has never had a problem like this before with her water bill.