Outraged Richmond, Va., resident Dana Bagby said she doesn't understand how she could possibly owe the city more than $15,000 in unpaid utility bills, but according to the Department of Public Utilities, that's what she owes, and that's how much she'll have to pay.
According to WTVR, an error on the city's part meant Bagby was never notified that the city was charging her for payments she said she paid, and they say they never received.
Department of Public Utilities spokeswoman Angela Fountain said “this fell through the cracks. It certainly did.”
Bagby is vowing to fight the monster bill, and told WTVR, "Somebody needs to do something. Somebody needs to help me.”
Bagby is not the first person to be shocked by an enormous utility bill, however.
Kristin Harriger in Abilene, Texas, was sent a bill for nearly $1.4 million this summer, including a $66,000 late fee. She quickly learned that her bill was an error, and that her utility company was charging her $1,000 per kilowatt hour rather than the normal rate of 8 cents to 12 cents an hour.
Similarly, in August, a Connecticut woman discovered that for 25 years she had been paying for the electricity used to power streetlights near her home. Grace Edwards was eventually reimbursed for the $10,500.
And in November, a Maryland man fought a $19,000 power bill sent by his provider, Pepco, eventually contacting a consumer protection agency and sharing his story with local news stations. Ira Ludwick's strategy worked, and eventually Pepco relented, and the billing issue was resolved.