Customers to contact council directly

2017-03-07 06:00

THE eThekwini Municipality has urged customers to approach the City if they have any queries related to their municipality bills.

Recent articles in the media regarding the City’s billing system have left many customers concerned.

The City urges all customers who may have received an unusually high bill to contact the City directly via the Revline call centre, the nearest customer care centre or the Sizakala Centre.

Customers should note that the City will not disclose any information concerning customers’ bills with a third party. According to a press statement, the municipality assures customers that the Revenue Management System (RMS) was fully tested and audited including its capability and accuracy, prior to being implemented.

“The City processes in excess of a million bills per month. Of these, less than 1 000 have been incorrect due to the changeover period when the systems changed, meter reading challenges and in some instances human error when capturing readings. Apart from this, which has resulted in some customer bills being inaccurate, all bills are thoroughly checked for accuracy.

“In terms of the council process any accounts that are picked up to be out of the norm in terms of the charges raised are trapped and sifted for further analysis. Customers should check their readings in comparison with previous bills to determine the accuracy of the amount charged. If there is a high water consumption, customers may check for a possible water leak,” said the council in a statement.

Customers can also ask for their meters to be tested and must take note that a bill consists of certain information that make up the total charges namely, property value, meter readings for electricity and water and tariffs used to charge for each of the service.

How does the wrong bill happen?

This happens when incorrect readings are being captured and get released before proper audit analysis can be finalised.

This has been addressed with the various units to ensure staff are appropriately trained to correctly address the audit report produced by the system.

It needs to be stated that this is not unique, it always happened even in the old system, hence our concern that this hype is unfounded.

“We are dealing with these errors on [a] case-by-case basis. Due to more security on the system the turnaround time for the correction was very slow, but this has been addressed and it has improved.”

What can a customer do if there is a belief that the bill is incorrect?

1. Check your readings with the readings on the bill.

2. If it is estimated charges, check the volume used to estimate the charges and if it correlates to the previous bill where the daily average is recorded.

3. If there is high water consumption please check for any water leaks.

4. If the customer believes that there is still a problem contact water and electricity departments to have their meters tested.

All other billing queries can be directed to revline@durban.gov.za or 031 324 5000.

Customers can send their electricity meter readings to custocare@elec.durban.gov.za, call 080 131 3011 or SMS 083 700 0819.

— Supplied.

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