MACON, Ga. — Customers line up to pay bills at the Macon Water Authority, but some customers like Donna Lowe question the cost.
Lowe says, "It looked high, because last month, well, in October, rather, it was like 30-something. In November, it jumped up to 50."
This comes after a ransomware attack in early November.
Water Authority President Tony Rojas says phones started ringing off the hook with people questioning their statements.
He says, "It's understandable that someone thinks, 'Well, the bill is wrong. They had a malware attack. My bill is just wrong.' Well, it's not wrong."
Half of their customers got an estimated bill for late October and early November based on amounts from the same time period last year.
If those amounts weren't available, they averaged the previous three months. Some estimates may have been too high, but others too low.
December bills are based on actual meter reads. "You're likely to see a lower bill for December because it's got a credit from your estimate being higher than the consumption," says Rojas, meaning that, in the end, no one is paying more than they should.
Rojas says, "It absolutely evens out, but the problem is the confusion it creates until you're evened out."
Lowe admits she was initially confused. "I was just coming to pay my water bill, I wasn't think that that might have made it happen like that."
Now, she understands her bill was just a side effect of the malware attack.
Rojas says during the attack, hackers never accessed any of their customers' personal data.
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