Phoenix family shocked by $1,600 water bill - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Phoenix family shocked by $1,600 water bill

A water bill of more than $1,600 shocked Jason and Bridget Doughty. They blame a malfunctioning water meter for the huge bill. (Source: CBS 5 News) A water bill of more than $1,600 shocked Jason and Bridget Doughty. They blame a malfunctioning water meter for the huge bill. (Source: CBS 5 News)
'Yeah, it worries me. It's a big chunk of money,' homeowner Bridget Doughty said. (Source: CBS 5 News) 'Yeah, it worries me. It's a big chunk of money,' homeowner Bridget Doughty said. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Doughty family in Phoenix had a near miss back in February when a car slammed into their house and came to a stop within inches of a sleeping 5-year-old boy.

Just a few weeks later came another shocking experience when the family opened their water bill to see charges of more than $1,600.

They said they believe the out-of-control vehicle that went hurtling through their yard slammed into the water meter box that sticks up in their lawn and somehow caused the meter to temporarily malfunction.

"Yeah, it worries me. It's a big chunk of money," homeowner Bridget Doughty said.

"This is a lot; $1,600 is a lot for me," said her husband, Jason Doughty. "It's beyond frustrating, it's just laughable."

The Doughty family has barely spent $1,600 combined on their water bills over the four years they have lived in their house.

The initial eye-popping bill came with the explanation that several payments had been missed.

But when the family offered proof that no payments had been missed, they said the explanation changed.

"Well, we installed this electronic meter," said Bridget Doughty, recounting a conversation with a Phoenix Water Services employee. "It's only been reading four digits instead of six and that's why we went back and readjusted your accounts."

That explanation left the family in disbelief.

"You did all of that wrong and it's my fault? You've got to be kidding me," said Jason Doughty.

A spokesperson for Phoenix Water Services responded to an inquiry Thursday afternoon by CBS 5 News, saying, "In order to be fair we need to examine the account thoroughly."

The spokesperson promised more information Friday.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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