More San Antonio area homeowners "double billed" for trash service


The City of San Antonio charging homeowners for trash service they didn't receive. News 4 Trouble Shooter Jaie Avila exposed the problem last November. As he reports in this update, it's happening again to hundreds of people.

My first investigation uncovered the city's Solid Waste Management Department is auditing the accounts of 350,000 garbage customers to determine how many have been incorrectly billed. Now we've discovered a new flaw in the system.

The 1,100 homeowners in the Northampton neighborhood used to be part of San Antonio and the city provided their trash service. But in January they were annexed by the City of Converse, which took over trash removal services.

However, San Antonio continued to charge Northampton homeowners for solid waste service on their CPS Energy bills.

“They are charging us for February, that they did not pick up. March they did not pick up and yet we are still being charged for that amount," says homeowner Rita Creswell.

Last November we talked to homeowners who for years had been paying for city trash service they didn't receive. But those people had moved into new neighborhoods, serviced by private garbage companies.

An oversight between the city's Solid Waste Management Department and CPS Energy resulted in them being mistakenly billed for city service.

“Everyone had gotten billed for nonexistent services," homeowner Leon Portillo told us at the time.

Back in November, the director of solid waste management told us refunds of up to $1,500 had been sent to homeowners and changes had been made to prevent it from happening in the future.

"One customer is too many that's being billed incorrectly, so we want to correct that," said David McCary.

But months later, this new mix-up in Northampton. Homeowners say they called solid waste and CPS Energy repeatedly.

"They say they're trying to figure out how to fix it. That we'd be getting a refund whenever they did. This is the second month how long does it take?" asked Rita Creswell.

Turns out it took one day. The Trouble Shooters contacted CPS Energy and the very next day the utility says it started processing those refunds. So we'll remind you, as we did in November, if you don't have trash service with the city, check your CPS Energy statement to be sure you're not being billed twice.

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