AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After months of a grace period, the City of Amarillo has resumed normal billing practices, which means issuing late fees and penalties for utility bills that have not been paid.
“We were, by all means, working with our customers to wave off late fees and penalties and doing what we could to make sure we didn’t interrupt service if it was some sort of extenuating circumstance,” said Laura Storrs, Finance Director for the City of Amarillo.
Now, the city is assessing these late fees and possibly shutting off service for utility bills that have not been paid.
In cases where the city began cutting off service, they found some customers didn’t realize they had not made a payment in the new system.
“Pretty quickly, after we started cutting off service, we started receiving some phone calls and emails from customers that didn’t realize that they hadn’t made a payment since we had switched over in our new software,” said Storrs.
These customers are part of a group who had auto-pay set up in the previous software, but did not know this auto pay needed to be updated with a new account number.
The city has successfully reached many of these customers, but will be sending out mail this week to the 100 or so customers they haven’t been able to reach.
“Just trying in another way to reach out to this group, to let them know that they do need to make a change to those payments to make sure that they’re getting those payments made timely going forward,” said Storrs.
For any other issues that may arise, the city of Amarillo’s IT department is helping to find a resolution for customers.
“This is more like a movement from teletype to an iPhone X,” said Rich Gagnon, Chief Information Officer for the City of Amarillo. “We’ve been involved from the start, we’re doing a lot of the back-end technical work. When they run into an issue, we’ll often work with them and the vendor to help sort it out."
If you have any questions about your utility bill, the City of Amarillo encourages you to call 378-3030 or visit their website.