Water cut off to past due accounts; resident runs into problems - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Water cut off to past due accounts; resident runs into problems making payment

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Evelyn Linder only turns her water on when she has to. She's lived in her neighborhood for 19 years and spends a lot of her time in her garden but recently that caused her Tennessee American Water bill to go up, which caused her $38 payment to be late.

On Tuesday she logged onto the city's website to pay it, that's where the problems started. "It would not let me in. I tried and tried," Linder explains.

After little to no help calling the numbers on the bill, she called 311. "After looking at my bill she could not take the payment I had to go to city hall," she says.

Linder is disabled and getting to downtown is a task in itself, but once she got to city hall they couldn't take her payment on a debit card.

"So back down the 17 steps I went. I went to the closest bank and got the money and went back again," she says.

By that time five hours had passed for a task meant to take five minutes.

"If they're going to throw threats out to the public, even little people like myself because I'm not one of the big companies that owe them thousands of dollars. I just wanted ot pay my bill," says Linder.

"Yesterday our billing partner ENCO had a problem with their billing system and we were unable to take payments by credit, debit card but that's been resolved," Deputy Chief Operating Officer Brent Goldberg says.

He says this is the first time since the city's split with Tennessee American Water that this has happened. "Anytime we have an issue like that we suspend the shut off process," says Goldberg.

With thousands needing to pay their bill Linder is glad they worked it out, "I hope that they will fix it so this doesn't happen again."

"Its just one of those things we're working through," says Goldberg. 

Residents who have past due sewer bills can set up a payment plan, up to nine payments in one year. For help call 423-425-6311.
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