Woman stunned by nearly $10,000 bill from water department

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4 Fast Facts

  • California woman receives water bill for nearly $10,000
  • Woman says she hasn’t missed a payment in 30 years
  • She originally thought bill was a mistake
  • Utility said bill was for “underestimated usage” dating back three years

LOS ANGELES — A California woman tells KTLA she never missed a payment in 30 years, so she was shocked when she received a nearly $10,000 bill from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Tami Pearsall received the bill for $9,784.55 last week. She was convinced the utility had made a mistake–probably a computer glitch or something of that nature. But when she called to ask about the high bill, she was told it wasn’t a mistake at all.

The utility had replaced her meter, but her bill has been corrected more than a dozen times over the last three years. The company said the charges were for “underestimated usage” dating back to 2013.

“The frustrating part of it is that I’m dealing with a huge bureaucracy and I’m just a person who goes to work every day and pays my bills,” Pearsall said.

She maintained that she’s never missed a payment in 30 years or even had a late one.

“If you’re a fair tax paying consumer, you shouldn’t have to live in that kind of fear. I’m playing by the rules. I don’t feel that they are.”

The utility is looking into the matter.

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