City admits $2,000 water bill was a mistake

Posted at 10:07 AM, Mar 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-10 10:07:05-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. – A Southwest Florida homeowner was left stunned after she was hit with a $2,000 bill from the city of Cape Coral, charging her for water she never used. And it turns out the city made a huge mistake.

Using water at home is something just about every one of us has in common.  But what separates Robin Maglios' water usage from the rest of us is how much she thought she'd have to pay for it.

“Last month I got a letter stating that they understated my bill and never read my meter over the last 3 years, and now that I owe them over $2,000 in water usage,” says Maglios.

Robin showed Fox 4 her meter that hadn't been checked in nearly 3 years.  She also showed us her water bills, all in the $40 range dating back to when she moved in the home.  And last but not least, she showed us the $2,007 dollar charge from the city, stating she hadn't been charged for usage from April 2014 to January 2017.

“33 months of a period of time where she was consuming water, but she was not getting billed for the actual consumption,” says Connie Barron with the City of Cape Coral.  She says she can see why none of this flowed well with Robin.

I think they should at least work with me at the very least.  I don't think that I'm responsible for paying this bill,” says Maglios.

And come to find out, she was right. This expensive mistake wasn't her fault.  “Through a series of mistakes and oversight on our end, she was not being billed for that usage,” says Barron.

For 33 months, the city charged Robin only the base bill, not her actual consumption.  After Fox 4 got involved, the city agreed to back-bill Robin for just the past 12 months, reducing that $2,000 bill to just $729.

“Sometimes the oversight might be on the customer’s part, other times it might be oversight on the city's part. In this case the entire oversight was on the city's part,” says Barron.