Glitch confuses water customers (NM - computer billing errors) : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Tuesday, February 8, 2000

Glitch Confuses Water Customers

The Associated Press SANTA FE -- The city didn't mean to tell hundreds of Santa Fe residents their water was being cut off.

Blame it on a glitch in a new, Y2K-compliant computer billing system. "It was a new program that they put in to avoid a Y2K problem, and it's become our Y2K problem," said Dennis Gee, the city's public utilities director.

The notices were sent out on behalf of the city-owned Sangre de Cristo Water Co.

Resident Carolyn Anderson received a yellow disconnect notice on Friday, telling her she owed the utility more than $500 and that her water service would be cut off if she didn't pay by Feb. 24.

Anderson, who said she'd paid a bill last month that didn't mention any past-due $500, quickly realized she wasn't alone when she wasn't able to call the utility because its phone constantly was busy.

She went to the water company's office on Monday, and said the clerk who helped her there "had a stack of bills 2 inches deep" from complaining customers.

Craig O'Hare, water programs administrator, said customers who have been paid their bills should ignore the disconnect notices.

"The bottom line is we're not going to be disconnecting them," he said.

Until the computer problem is fixed, instead of the yellow warning notice bills will include a message that customers should ignore any disconnection warnings on their bills.

-- Homer Beanfang (, February 08, 2000

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