‘I had a heart attack’: Woman says error led to almost $800 water bill

LADY LAKE, Fla. — A Lady Lake woman says she’s frustrated after receiving a nearly $800 water bill from her local utility provider.

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Donna Heinsinger says her Florida Governmental Utility Authority bill hadn’t reflected any usage for six months before she was suddenly hit with the massive bill.

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Now, Heinsinger and her son are questioning whether the new amount is accurate.

“I had a heart attack…stroke…that was a big bill,” Heinsinger said.

She and her son said they’ve been trying to work something out with FGUA for the past several weeks and are worried about their water being disconnected.

“Why are we not being billed, then all of a sudden, a month before the holidays, we’re getting hit with a $771.25 water bill?”

That bill, due earlier this month, remains unpaid.

Heinsinger says she usually paid her bill right away, and didn’t even notice the bill was registering no water usage from May through October, then in November, she says her usage skyrocketed.

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Heinsinger’s son said crews that replaced their water meter said it wasn’t sending a signal to FGUA, and wasn’t registering usage properly.

The Heinsingers say the bill is typically no more than $80 per month, and usually much lower than that.

They say they have a hard time believing six months of water usage would total nearly $800.

“We’re not looking for anything for free,” Heinsinger said. “If we use it, and we owe it, we’re going to pay it.”

The Heinsingers said they’d read online complaints about billing issues with FGUA, a public utility that has an “F” rating with the Better Business Bureau.

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Heinsinger says FGUA has since agreed to reduce the amount to be paid to around $450, but they still wonder how FGUA came up with that amount.

When contacted for comment, an FGUA spokesperson said they’re looking into the account.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.