DALLAS — It's a problem that's draining Tom Hoffman's patience, but he's turning to laughter to wash away the frustration.
For the second time this year, Hoffmann has received an outrageous water bill from the City of Dallas.
The amount due? Nearly $67,000, equivalent to the contents of five water towers.
"To see this happen twice... I don't know," Hoffmann said. "It's annoying."
To say the least.
The first time he got the massive bill was in April. The problem froze his accounts. For two days, he and his wife couldn't use their bank credit or ATM cards.
"They did look at the amount and thought it was legit, and authorized a draft from our account," he said. "Everything was locked down, and they couldn't do anything to stop it or reverse the motion sort of speak. We were stuck."
The City fixed the problem, and Hoffman told WFAA he got an apology. He then immediately canceled his auto-pay.
But the second super-sized bill arrived this past week. This time, there were no financial or credit issues, but Hoffmann was... bothered.
"It saved us a lot of pain and headaches the second time around," he said. "I was really shocked. I was shocked that there wasn't any red flag... something in their system that says, 'Hey, we are going to be charging this resident several thousand dollars for a water bill.'"
Hoffman wondered why this problem happened again, and so did we.
The Director of Communications and Media Relations for the City of Dallas, Frank Librio, e-mailed WFAA a response, claiming the billing was a mistake and the result of a stuck meter.
"The meter has been replaced and accurate billing will follow," Librio said. "We apologize for the inconvenience to the customer."
Hoffman checked his front yard; a new meter has been installed. He is expected to receive a new bill in a few days.
"We are hoping that we get a bill that makes sense," he said.