Billing error could leave Greater Cincinnati Water Works customers short on cash this week

Contractor mistakenly charged people several times
Posted at 10:03 AM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 10:03:15-04

CINCINNATI -- If you paid your water bill with a debit or credit card Saturday, you might want to check your bank account.

Greater Cincinnati Water Works said a subcontractor for its payment processing company, FIS, accidentally tried to bill 534 customers' accounts multiple times.

Those extra payments may still show as "pending," but they could affect a customer's available balance -- meaning the debit or credit card might be declined until the mistake is cleared up. Water Works Director Cathy Bailey said it might take up to three to five days for that to happen.

There's not much Water Works can do, Bailey said: Only a customer's bank is authorized to remove the accidental charges. Bailey said customers should contact their bank for help; they can ask their bank to call FIS at 877-513-5465 to get the problem resolved.

Not all 534 customers are in Greater Cincinnati: Water Works also processes payments for water utilities in Lexington, Kentucky and Alexandria, Virginia. Bailey said Water Works asked FIS for the actual list of affected accounts and told the company to provide a letter explaining to customers' and their banks what happened.

Water Works spokeswoman Stephanni Schweitzer said the problem only affects people who paid with a debit or credit card on Saturday.