DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– Imagine getting an unexpected $300 water bill and then a three-day water shutoff notice on your front door.

Well, one elderly couple in Dauphin County didn’t imagine it.

“My wife brought this in to me, as a matter of fact,” Charles Bird said.

“Yes, I did,” Carol Bird said.

“And she said, ‘guess what? They just gave us a notice, they’re going to shut off our water in three days,” Charles said.

Even though the Birds say they haven’t paid a bill late in all their 80-something years on earth.

“We just don’t, we don’t owe any money on anything,” Carol said.

It started with this letter from Veolia Water about this meter.

“Their meter had failed for one year,” Charles said.

And then this bill.

“It was over $300,” Charles said.

Then calls to Veolia agents, with answers Charles says didn’t make sense.

“I was using between 240 and 270 gallons an hour,” Charles said. “I said, that is not possible.”

“We know we did not use that much water,” Carol said. “That would be somewhere in a pool out back if we had used that much water.”

No pool, just faucets… and flowers

“I water them with a watering can,” Charles said.

He says an agent told him there must be a leak. He called a plumber. No leak. He sent letters through the mail. No answer.

“And so then I called you,” Charles said.

We called Veolia. They say the bill was actually correct – the Birds had been underbilled for a year because of the broken meter. The big bill, Veolia says, made up for that.

The Birds are paying. Their water won’t be cut off. The company apologized for any miscommunication on its part and confirmed it repaired the meter, and said they are “pleased we were able to come to a resolution” and appreciate the customer’s patience through this process.

“I’m so pleased that we’re finally communicating with each other,” Charles said.

Veolia says it actually tried calling him several times and couldn’t reach him. Turns out the cell phone he and I were talking on wasn’t on the account. It is now.

So there’s a good tip for you, especially if you set up your accounts a long time ago, maybe with a landline you don’t use much or don’t have anymore. Make sure your utility companies have your current preferred phone number on file.