Failed Data Integration Costs Customers Hundreds of Dollars

A failed data integration is going to cost St. Louis area residents up to hundreds of dollars. Or require a refund.

No, that extra few hundred dollars on your monthly sewer bill isn’t a typo.

A bill miscalculation that began nearly two years ago has the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District asking thousands of customers in St. Louis County to pay for services that never showed up on bills. The average undercharge for an affected household: $450.

Nearly 1,900 residential customers and 3,700 commercial customers are being asked to pay more on their current sewer bill, which should be in mailboxes by the week of April 6 at the latest.

The reason?

The discrepancy began in May 2013, when Missouri American Water, which provides water service in much of the St. Louis County portion of MSD’s territory, changed its billing system.

MSD buys water meter data from Missouri American in order to calculate many customer rates, but the new system’s data wasn’t properly computing with MSD’s billing programs, district spokesman Lance LeComb said.

“Ultimately MSD is responsible for getting the data right and making sure we have correct account information and send out correct bills,” he said. “Missouri American Water was very supportive of our efforts and provided additional staff” to fix the problem.

Dependency upon an integration, and something at the data provider changed. Expensively.

On the MSD bills, they encourage you to “go green” and pay your bills online:

Given their track record, I can understand anyone’s reluctance to allow MSD’s computer systems access to a customer bank account or credit card.

Comments are closed.


wordpress visitors