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LA DWP spent $162m on troubled billing system

Posted: November 23, 2013 10:41 a.m.
Updated: November 23, 2013 10:41 a.m.

A new Department of Water and Power billing system, that has been riddled with problems, has cost ratepayers more than twice the $59 million cited by the utility's spokesman.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has spent $162 million on a new computerized billing system that has overcharged customers and sparked a flood of complaints.

The agency on Friday estimated the cost of software, hardware, staff time and outside consultants. It works out to nearly three times the price tag of the original contract.

Since the system launched in September, the DWP says 3 to 5 percent of its 1.4 million customers have experienced incorrect bills, delayed bills and late notices. The agency also was swamped with complaints and many callers complained of being stuck on hold for too long — sometimes for an hour.

The DWP says it will roll out a system next week that allows customers to get a call back instead of waiting.

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