Charlottetown water and sewer customers getting refund after billing error

Charlottetown water and sewer customers can expect a small refund on their next bill after being accidentally overcharged.

After switching to new billing software in April 2022, customers were charged double for one day in each billing cycle.

It amounts to about $50,000, or an average of about $7 per customer, said Richard MacEwan, the manager of water and sewer for the City of Charlottetown.

MacEwan said the last day of one quarter's bill was the same as the first date of the next quarter's bill, creating the extra charge.

Notices were sent out to customers informing them of the error. (Shane Ross/CBC)
Notices were sent out to customers informing them of the error. (Shane Ross/CBC)

MacEwen said the error was caught by a city staffer who noticed an error on their own statement.

"It was surprising because this is a multinational billing system and it surprised me that that error would be in there. But it was in there and we've now corrected it and we are providing the refund back to our customers."

In an emailed statement to CBC News, a spokesperson for the city said the software error did not affect any other billing systems.

"This was a simple coding error, and as the Utility bills are determined based on the number of days being billed, that was what these were affected by. No other billings are calculated in this manner. The system is used for other departments, however no other department bills include a billing period," the statement said.