Hattiesburg, Mississippi – Beginning in November, the City of Hattiesburg’s water customers will see a new water bill design in a single-page printout, delivered to homes in an envelope.
This change comes after two years of researching best practices for bill mailings in the utility industry and on the heels of software upgrades throughout the city.
“Over the past four years, we’ve taken great strides in improving customer service and operations throughout our city,” said Mayor Toby Barker. “As we enter our second term, we will continue to make necessary improvements. One area we will pay particular attention to is our water and sewer department, where we will build on the last term’s successes and continue modernizing both infrastructure and the customer experience.”
Specifically for water billing, this means creating a streamlined approach for citizens to receive their water bills and providing them with more options in making payments.
Currently, residents receive a 4×6 postcard each month with minimal information regarding usage and payment details. Over time, the Water Billing Office has received feedback from many residents about the lack of information regarding prior months’ usage, that the size of the card often makes it easy to get lost in the mail and that the size doesn’t make it easy to mail in/drop off payment if needed.
The new bill design will aid in providing solutions to these concerns. The upgraded look includes a full-page printout in an envelope with a security envelope for bill payment. It will also include the following:
- Easy to access contact information for questions and concerns.
- A graph of water consumption for the past six months.
- An account summary to easily access your balance total and due date.
- A block specific for sharing news and notes with you.
- A detachable payment coupon that fits easily in the provided security envelope.
- A full page of detailed notes for how you can pay for your bill, the disconnection of service policy, how to handle past due bills and how to enroll in paperless electronic billing.
“I’m very proud of our team and the hard work they’ve put into making this switch,” said Water and Sewer Director Alan Howe. “We are moving from a very antiquated process to one that is more efficient in both time and operations.”
Over the next two months (September and October), residents will receive their standard water bill in addition to several pieces of communication about the anticipated change. In November, residents will receive their first bill with the new layout and design.
For any residents who have questions about the new design, they can access additional information at hattiesburgms.com/waterbill or call the Mayor’s Office at 601-545-4501 or the Water Billing Office at 601-545-4634.