The San Antonio Express-News has recently reported that the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) will start charging its customers who pay their bills using debit or credit cards. The different types of card payments will charge $1.75 for bill payment by debit card and $2.25 to pay a bill using a credit card.
Since this billing change was announced fairly quietly through what is for all intents and purposes the SAWS blog in a post titled Convenience Fees for Credit/Debit Card Users Begin in August, it can certainly make sense that many people feel as though this move is just a cash grab by the utility company. However, what this is means is that the regular bill overall for every single one of their customers should drop, even if marginally. This is because SAWS used to just eat the fees from credit and debit card payments, and now this additional expense is being charged directly to those who pay their bills using this manner.
If you are a customer of SAWS and would like to pay your bills without being charged an additional processing fee, there are still quite a few payment options available to you. These include auto drafts, using checking or savings account through the SAWS eBill website, checking/savings through their pay by phone system, using cash or check in person, paying by check through the mail or by signing up for a bill pay service through a bank.
This also comes at a time where SAWS is attempting to restructure their rate plans completely, an act that a number of their customers are protesting. Though things might seem difficult at the current time for the San Antonio Water System, the company simply has a monopoly (as do most water companies) in their city and there really isn’t much that can be done to persuade them away from whatever they want to do.