Billing blues over meter muddle
THE BILLING crisis in the City of Joburg continues unabated. A Bez Valley property owner, Mervin Law, said that for the past 18 months, he has been battling with a billing issue in which he is being saddled with his neighbour’s R408000 account and which resulted in his water being cut off.
He says a wrong electricity meter number has been linked to his account.
“With my numerous dealings with the City of Joburg and City Power, it was established that the meter number concerned belongs to a property two doors away from us. This is clearly a mistake. I have been paying an average amount of R2 500 every month.
“I received a pre-termination notice about two weeks ago and again went to query this, and was told that the old meter number had been restored and the billing would be corrected. However, yesterday they cut off my water.
“I contacted the call centre and verified that the reference number is still logged onto their system. This is an illegal connection as I have a query on the account and they are not allowed to disconnect any services if the query has not been resolved. I have elderly persons and children living on the property.”
Law said he went to City Power and reported the issue again.
“The consultant, on tracing the meter number, confirmed that the meter belongs to another property down the road. She said there was a mix-up between our account and the other property’s account.
“I don’t believe so. Surely if a meter was to be shut down or transfer of ownership of a property was to take place, the city or City Power would have sent out an official to verify consumption figures,” said Law.
After contacting Metrowatch, the city sent a meter inspector to verify the meter number and consumption figures on the property.
“They reconnected us the same day and assured us the account would be rectified,” Law said.
The City of Joburg said it had escalated Law’s query.
Spokesperson for the city Kgamanyane Maphologela said: “In resolving the matter, the city had to first send its meter readers to the property in order to obtain the actual meter readings.
“Those readings have been sent to the billing department for further processing,” he said.
He added that it was important for the city to have all the information required in order to successfully resolve the query.
Maphologela said that, as soon as the query was resolved, the customer would be given feedback on the outcome of the query.
‘Elderly people, children living on the property’