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Water utilities warns against third-party payments

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The El Dorado Water Utilities is warning customers about a third-party bill payment website that has attached itself to the EWU’s internet footprint without authorization.

Phyllis Waller, administration manager for the EWU, said www.doxo.com recently began appearing as the top result of an online search for the EWU.

The website allows for customer payments and could charge additional fees, Waller said.

However, Doxo — which, according to its website is based in Seattle — has not spoken to the EWU about taking customer payments, Waller said.

“They didn’t call me. They didn’t call (EWU Customer Service Manager Lisa White) to ask us,” Waller said, adding that she was searching for contact information to get in touch with Doxo.

One EWU customer sent a payment to Doxo company about two weeks ago, she said.

“If they received that money, you would think they would call us, but they haven’t,” Waller said.

On its website, Doxo cited 155 EWU customers as followers.

“I don’t see how that’s possible,” Waller said.

She explained that the EWU’s online payment option temporarily shut down when the utilities upgraded its billing software late last month.

“The upgrade started that Monday, April 30, and it took several days that week, but we were up on Thursday,” Waller said. “By that time, Doxo had attached itself to our location.”

EWU website issues resurfaced on Monday. Waller said the website may have gone down over the weekend.

On Monday morning, customers could not access the EWU homepage, but other tabs, including payment options, were accessible.

Waller said EWU was working to resolve the matter, and the homepage was back up Monday afternoon.

An alert has been posted on the EWU website, warning customers about making payments to Doxo.

Waller reiterated that Doxo is not affiliated with EWU and that making a payment through the third party could result in a late payment and even disconnection of service due to nonpayment.

For more information or to make sure payments are made directly to the EWU, call 870-862-6451 or visit www.eldoradowater.com.

White told members of the EWU’s Water Advisory Board on Monday that employees are still adjusting to the software upgrade, which came with a new work-order system that helps the utilities to better track repairs.

“You can go back and add more complete notes. It keeps a record of who was on the ticket, what they did and what time they did it,” she said.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or by email at tlyons@ eldoradonews.com .