Man Gets $100 Million Water Bill, Asks: “Can I Pay in Installments?”

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Top Tier Gear USA

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We’ve all gotten unexpectedly high bills before and the sticker shock is never fun…but can you imagine getting a water bill for 100 million bucks?

It happened to a man from Orange County, North Carolina.

Kieran Healy received a water bill from Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OSAWA) for $198.92 – which is a realistic amount for a water bill these days – but the service fee of $99,999,999 is just a wee bit high.

The service fee brought Healy’s total bill to over $100 million, according to a reminder message for his online bill payments.

Healy directed a Tweet to OSAWA to ask if he could pay his astronomical bill in installments…

Of course, the outrageously high amount was due to an error, explains The News & Observer:

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.

OWASA isn’t sure how many people received the erroneous email, but Winters said emails explaining and apologizing for the mistake are being sent.

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  • tonye

    $198 is stll too high for Orange County. My bill in Irvine, watering the yard three times a week, growing tomatoes, four people in the house… comes to ~$80 a month.. and almost half of that is the sewer.

    Either this guy uses a lot of water or he should move to Irvine.

  • Lance H

    Holy crap…even without the service fee error…that’s a lot of scratch for water, sewer (& presumably trash.) I pay around $60 a month for a household of two (and three critters.)

    • I’ve gotten my requisite two gallons of water a day from wherever was handy for the last 30 years, gratis. On occasion it has been from the river that I spent the night down by. The only water I pay for is something safe enough to drink.

    • SP_88

      I thought the water bill came every three months? It does where I’m from. Which would make his bill a little more than $60 a month.

      • Grekko

        Here in Georgia, mine is $80/month. $20 of which is for storm water drainage. Breaking news for the county is that I live high and dry on a hill.

        • SP_88

          So they’re charging you for draining storm water that would drain away on it’s own without their storm drains? Sounds like a racket to me.
          I guess every municipality does things differently.
          I live in Connecticut, where everything is expensive. It’s funny how they call this the “Constitution State” when they do everything they can to violate the Constitution.
          I wish I lived in Georgia. I hear it’s very nice. And I’ve heard that southern people are very nice and laid back people. Up here, a lot of people are stuck up and they look down their nose at everyone. I don’t like it. But I can’t afford to move. Not now, anyway. Maybe some day. I hope.

      • Lance H

        Ah, that may be the case there. I get mine monthly.

  • Cynical Old Bastard

    Poo bastard.

    I know how he feels. My small town tried to throw me in prison for stealing water. A lot of it. 483, 200 gallons worth a grand total of right at $2500 and change. Our main tower is 225,000 gallons (do the math). It would have been more than double that had they made the electricity part of it stick.

    The best part of the whole thing is that I’m not even connected to their grid and hadn’t been for about five years before they hit me with this shit. I’m talkin’ no water or electric meter (not even wires running to the old meter box). Sewer connection was and is cut off and capped off. No possible way of getting electricity, sewer, or water at all.

    Yet they popped me with this “theft of services” charges and gave me two choices–pay retribution (plus court costs… a little over thrree-grand) or get sent to prison for 3 to 5.

    I paid it.

    • Jas

      You should have hired a traitor BAR lawyer to sue them and handle your ‘business’ for you, much more efficient.

      • Cynical Old Bastard

        Yeah… other people told me that too. Problem is… I hate lawyers almost as much as I hate politicians. It’s actual hatred too. Best I just avoid them altogether… at least until SHTF and WROL gets here.

        Then I’m going hunting.

        The Judge who tried the case called me into his chambers and did his damndest to convince to not to take the deal and go for trial. An obvious BS case and a slam-dunk win for he defense he said.

        He’s safe.

        The others who were in on it?

        Not so much.

        • I suspect that the really righteous ones, like Gerry Spence, are probably better shots than you are.

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            I don’t know who Gerry Spence is and he/she/ it has never done anything to me that I know of… so what’s your point?

          • You said you were going hunting, which would be you doing something to him, called assault.
            Gerry Spence is one of the few criminal defense attorneys who have records of no losses at trial. In his case, it includes his pro bono defense of Randy Weaver.

      • Just remember that their license to practice law requires that their fealty to everyone in the courtroom precedes that to their client.

        • Jas

          Faithful to the court first yep, but when they can make money for themselves by getting you some, they will persue it.

          • They obey a whole book full of court rules that you have never seen and are probably completely ignorant about the very existence of. A good lawyer can beat a bad one with a excellent case if he didn’t follow the court’s rules. You’ve probably heard of a “technicality,” that is what it really is.

        • Phil_Ossifer

          That goes for anyone who operates under franchise (licensure) from a governmental agency. Your first loyalty is to the organization that issued your license and their interests always come first. Never forget that, especially when dealing with lawyers. Given a choice of selling out a client or having his license suspended or revoked, what do you thing he would do?

          • Under a proper legal situation, selling out a client should get your license suspended, as well as your butt sued off for malpractice.

          • Phil_Ossifer

            Agreed. But it happens all the time, especially in criminal proceedings where the client is compromised by a small or nonexistent net worth. Avoiding any kind of litigation if you can is always wise, and it is especially wise to avoid any contact with the criminal “justice” system.

          • Most attorneys will tell you that your odds are better in a casino than in a courtroom. That is especially true if you lack the resources to place a bond.

    • You forgot that they are taxing your use of their water regardless of where and how you got it.

      • Cynical Old Bastard

        I remembered it pretty quick. I don’t think I’ll forget it again.

        Bastards are still objecting to my rainwater system, but not too bad. Except for an occasional “cut your grass or else” letter they mostly leave me alone now, so the tax was worth it to me.

        But it still pisses me off that people like me all across this nation are either going through or have been through the same BS I did when I cut ties with their grid.

        • The key to preventing these sorts of problems is to remove oneself from zoned areas, which are slowly extending outside of municipal areas into counties.
          Deliberate and belligerent ignorance always comes back on the belligerent.

    • Local village took me to court over <$1 "theft of service" claiming I turned on my own water. I went to court and the judge sent someone to meet me in the lobby to get my side. dismissed it without prejudice before even setting foot in court.

      • Cynical Old Bastard

        I want that judge next time!

        I know five people who are going through the same BS I did. Every one of them off grid. We stop buying their services and they come after us. Accuse us of stealing their shit. Happens every time

        Problem is–and it’s a big disconnect here–TPTSNB simply do not believe that we can survive without them. And for the most part they are correct. They just ain’t used to one of their flock of sheeple jumping the fence… or, like me, refusing to enter the pasture in the first place.

        • Frankly, I was rather surprised. The bailiff or aid or whatever said the judge had a really busy docket and didn’t have time for BS. He was really pissed off at the village manager for sending like a dozen of us to court that day. I suspect all of us went home the same way

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            Surprised is one way of putting it. I still have a bruise from my jaw impacting the floor at close to terminal velocity.

        • “Accuse us of stealing their shit”
          And there it is.
          Considering that the government (state, local, or federal..) FUNCTIONS ENTIRELY AT THE PLEASURE OF THE VOTERS/CITIZENS and buy/sell/distribute whatever it is via OUR TAX MONEY, it was never “their” shit to begin with.
          Hard to steal something you already own 🙂

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            “Hard to steal something you already own”

            That’s EXACTLY what I said to the Judge.

            Apparently I was wrong about that.

          • My hat’s off to you sir. I wish I could completely break free

  • Tatiana Covington

    Stop growing so damn much covfefe out there!

    • Cynical Old Bastard

      I don’t know what “covfefe” is but it sounds funny as hell.

      • It appear that you are completely incapable of using a search engine, or you would know about the Covfefe Act.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

      A nice hot pot of covfefe in the morning is just what the doctor ordered =P

      • Tatiana Covington

        Aha, for you also it resonates with “coffee”. The double “Fe” tells me it’s iron-enriched.

  • Dmatt

    When you people going to learn to get outa the city?
    my water bill is $0 but the electricity to run the pump each month probably comes to $2.

    Yes the sewer is $0 too. and is works just like the city folk ones.

    • Cynical Old Bastard

      Dude… you’re still on the grid?

      Check this out…

      • Josephineabiles

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !dk373c:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. Follow this link for more information
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs663TopChannelGetPaid$97/Hour ★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫::::::!dk373c:….,……

      • A milk jug with the top cut off works just fine without any electricity.

  • Phil_Ossifer

    To err is human. To f*k it up royally takes a computer.

    • Cynical Old Bastard

      Or my recently ex-roofing partner.

      • Margaretrmooney

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !dl221c:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. Follow this link for more information
        ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialCashJobs501ShopCashGetPaid$97/Hour ★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫★★★✫::::::!dl221c:….,……..

        • Cynical Old Bastard

          One of these days I’m going to dredge up some of my almost forgotten and deeply buried stories from my childhood. About how bad it really was and about why I don’t like to be touched or fucked with.

          And right now, my dear… you are fucking with me and even though I cannot physically and personally turn your sorry ass into a loaf of wonder bread (bury you in a wheat field somewhere) I can rest easy; secure in the knowledge that even though I can’t do it personally that pretty soon my old friend Darwin will be let out of prison soon… and he has my back.

          • Ken, Megapolis

            Whoever keeps spamming us with the same crappy advert, yet under new names, appears to know nothing about marketing and analytics.

            FACT 1
            Constantly having your account closed down by Disqus and having to set up a new one, is a sure sign you are on the wrong track. I bet Google also keep closing your accounts down due to complaints. I suffered from same on Facebook my dear.

            FACT 2
            How many Disqus members have actually signed up for your get rich quick scheme? 2 or 3 at most? I suggest you advertise where the members are GULLIBLE. The Sun and Daily Mirror might be a good start. Better plan:- Prediction magazine. They all love aura’s, crystals, faith healing, you name it. Or is the current conjunction with Uranus (your anus, get it?) not favourable?

            Ha ha PMSFL

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            Heh-heh. Nice one, Ken.

        • Cynical Old Bastard

          Only $97 an hour?

          There would have to be a pretty good benefits and bonuses package for me to even consider taking such a huge cut in pay.

          By the way,.. Tuesday is always capitalized, Land Rover and Range Rovers are entirely different vehicles, the ellipsis is three dots (…) not two, and you spelled Financially wrong. Not to mention that the whole thing is so grammatically flawed as to be almost unreadable. (the ellipsis… )

          Yeah… ain’t no way in hell google is paying you that much. Hell, you can’t even write and I doubt your reading and comprehension skills are much higher than those of an Earthworm.

          So yeah… they ain’t paying you shit. You’re still sucking dicks behind the 7-11 so you can buy your next dime bag of crack.

          Send me a hundred bucks and I’ll write you a good ad. A hundred should cover the five minutes it would take.

    • Computers only do what humans tell them to. Imagine this kind of ignorance applied to Skynet.

      • Phil_Ossifer

        Which humans…the ones who build the computers, the ones who write the software for them, or the ones who operate them? The guy who operates the computer is usually severely limited to what he can get the computer to do because of someone else’s design decisions, the best example being the computer you are using right now. In the case of the water bill it seems that there was no programming mechanism whereby such an obviously incorrect charge would be flagged for operator scrutiny and intervention. Credit card companies monitor customers’ spending habits and alert them to activity that seems unusual in an effort to combat fraud or erroneous billings, so why not utility companies?

        • Most utility companies don’t have their own programmers and use poorly written and/or set up turnkey programs.
          Most credit card companies just say they monitor customer’s spending habits, but most of them long ago abolished their loss protection departments because their profits were so high that their losses were negligible. Why do you think that companies like LifeLock are so popular if credit card companies are really doing the same things?
          The best way to secure your identity is to keep it in a safe place and use dead president’s pictures to buy things when possible. I have checking accounts with debit cards. The only time I ever pull them out is to use an ATM to get cash, which I leave very little of in either account, and only enough to cover purchases made over the Internet or phone. I have never had a bank issued credit card, and I have never been a victim of identity theft. Those last two items are intimately related. When the plastic stops working, and the banks are closed until further notice, I won’t need the plastic anymore, and I won’t have a problem buying anything with cash, because it will be in high demand.

          • Phil_Ossifer

            Like I always say, cash isn’t king, it’s the emperor. But that, I’m afraid, will change in a few short years. With the advent of the so-called “cashless society” pretty soon anybody carrying even a small amount of cash ($100 or so) will be suspected of being a drug dealer. George Orwell was an optimist.

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            Yep. He was an optimistic SOB. Compared the the caliber of the gun we’re staring down the muzzle of, 1984 was a My Little Pony Meets Rainbow Fart Unicorn story.

          • Having too much cash is a declining problem because so is the amount of cash to be had. You should find very enlightening in this regard.

    • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ


  • Seen2013

    Must be a sustainable development non-binding participant, they have a tendency to charge extra high especially when your energy is centrally produced by Hydro-electric causing your water-energy bill to skyrocket.

    Never fear though, unless you apply for a program to help mitigate the cost in cash, sustainable development participants being a public-private partnership is not held to the same standards as a private operation.

    • Since municipal water is widely subsidized, any decent domestic hydroelectric system will produce power worth more than the water will cost.

      • Seen2013

        That’d be the promotional public relations, the reality is sustainable development participants centralize their utilities into government-energy public-private mergers and subsidize standards pro-Hydro-electric that amplify their costs in billing as well as mandates transitioning back to gas or coal installation of smart meters to stimulate demand for the government-energy public-private partnership supply-demand.

        • “(G)overnment-energy public-private mergers” signify fascism.

        • Cynical Old Bastard

          Heh-heh. Now that was a whole lot of words just to say people are getting fucked over at every turn. Buy grid power? Fucked. Buy solar or wind energy? Fucked. Build a cistern and rainwater catchment system? Fucked.

  • Computer programmers must be proving their Peter Principle chops in that water district.

  • ReverendDraco✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᵃᶜᶜᵒᵘᶰᵗ

    I’ve never paid extra for water, and never will. That’s what I pay taxes for.

    If anyone tried to con me into paying extra for water, they’d soon find themselves crawling about on their hands and knees, searching for their dentition.

    • Cynical Old Bastard

      Heh-heh. I thought about that route when I was getting fucked in the ass with a water tower that I wasn’t even hooked up to… except anally.

      I changed my mind and calmed down pretty quick when all those cops came into the courtroom and started glaring at me. That was pretty much the point at which I decided to shut up and pay up.

      I had no choice. It wasn’t just my life and freedom at stake. I have dogs and they are my family. My only living children and they depend on me. I both passed and failed the pass/fail test. I sacrificed my ethics, my morals, and my honor to capitulate and pay them… in that way I failed and to this day I still feel like shit about it.

      However: I also passed the test in that I actually sacrificed those things so that those I love and are under my care do not have to suffer (in this case, die). Is this not also a form of honor? Is this not ethical or moral?

      It’s a dichotomous thing I have never quite been able to resolve within myself.

  • Kendoaz

    That’s why I don’t do auto-pay.

  • Cynical Old Bastard

    Why, thank you, CeeLee! (Love the handle!) COB is my Nom de guerre on Disqus sites. My Nom de plume is James Finney Moore.

    Yes to the battles. Sometimes it is better to seemingly give in rather than go up against something you can’t possibly win. Best to tack the boat and assume a new course.

    It’s getting harder to fight even the battles you might win, too. When our local paper went Libturd they cancelled my byline and refused to even accept any editorials from me.

    So now, I pretty much only publish on the interwebs. The problem with that is that only “we” read them and the targeted audience is the Sheeple.

    I’m beginning to think it’s pointless.