Kieran Healy’s water bill this month totaled $100,000,188.92.
That’s a little more than he usually pays.
“Can I pay in installments?” Healy asked the Orange Water and Sewer Authority on Twitter on Wednesday, with a screenshot of an invoice reminder for his online bill.
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The bill itself was $189.92, but an additional service fee of $99,999,999 was added to his bill, bringing his total to more than $100 million according to a reminder message for his online bill payments.
Healy posted again on Twitter later Wednesday morning to say OWASA had reached out to him.
“In fairness to (OWASA), they just replied to my email and assured me that I do not in fact own them a hundred million dollars,” Healy wrote.
OWASA officials said the utility outsources various functions of its billing to a service provider called Invoice Cloud. One of the services Invoice Cloud provides is auto drafts, where bill payments are taken out of customer bank accounts or charged to credit cards automatically.
Invoice Cloud sends an email to customers before those charges happen, said Stephen Winters, director of finance and customer service for OWASA. But this email had an error that made it appear as though an huge service fee would be charged.
If customers click through the email to view their account, everything is correct, Winters said. The error only showed up in the email.
“We’ve been assured that no customer will get $100 million attempted to be drafted from their account,” Winters said.
OWASA is unsure how many of its customers may receive emails with incorrect service charges, Winters said, but Invoice Cloud plans to send out emails explaining and apologizing for the mistake.
“It could be a few dozen customers or thousands,” Winters said.