FAQ: Utility Billing and Payments Platform
The Town of Hillsborough is now partnering with smart water services provider FATHOM to provide utility billing and customer care services. The partnership became effective Nov. 2. Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about the new billing and payments platform.
Click on a question to view the answer.
Why has the town changed its billing and collection services?
The partnership for a new billing and payments platform is intended to provide the town and water and sewer customers with a long-term strategy for keeping costs down. It also provides customers with increased online functionality for managing town utility bills. Hillsborough now can offer:
- Additional payment methods, such as electronic check payments and recurring credit card payments.
- The option to receive bills electronically or to reprint bills.
- Notifications for usage and service interruption.
- Ability to report problems through a customer portal.
- Access to detailed water usage information, enabling customers to make decisions about water consumption.
- The ability to set pre-determined thresholds for water usage and the option to receive text or email alerts when water use exceeds those limits.
- A mobile app for iPhone users.
Additionally, the partnership provides a better service experience for customers by offering:
- Multilingual account representatives.
- Additional payment reminders through automated phone calls and letters.
- Representatives to handle calls or emails as they are made from customers reporting problems.
- Additional customer service hours from 8 to 9 a.m. Monday-Friday.
Are services still available at the Billing and Collections Office in Hillsborough?
Yes. Cash payments may be made at the office, and staff also are available to help with processing check payments and credit or debit card payments. The office is located in the Town Hall Annex, 137 N. Churton St., and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.
Why is the deposit box closed at the Billing and Collections Office?
Accepting a large volume of checks through the deposit box and processing them would negatively affect a benefit of the partnership with FATHOM, which allows town staff to better handle the number of customers visiting the office around the monthly payment date. In addition, some customers were leaving cash in the drop box, which is a safety and security risk for customers and the town.
Customers who pay by check now have additional options for payment that do not require mailing the check. They may:
- Enter the bank information for their check online through the customer portal.
- Call the customer service number at 844-691-9177 to have the check processed electronically.
Additionally, the check may be:
- Mailed to Town of Hillsborough, PO Box 205232, Dallas, TX 75320-5232.
- Taken into the Billing and Collections Office in Hillsborough for processing.
Is any action required of me due to the change?
Yes, if you use automated payments. The transition to the partnership with FATHOM has resulted in new account numbers for every customer. Depending on the type of automated payment you use, you will need to change your account details to ensure payments are properly credited.
Bank Draft — Enroll or continue an existing bank draft payment through the customer portal. View instructions on the customer portal under the Go Green tab. The portal refers to “bank draft” as “automatic clearing house” or ACH. To enroll over the phone, to have a form sent to you or for help with the form, call FATHOM at 844-691-9177. It may take up to two billing cycles for the draft to begin.
Recurring Credit Card — Set up recurring credit card payments through the customer portal or by calling FATHOM at 844-691-9177.
Bank Originated Bill Pay — Enter the town’s new billing address and your new customer account number in your bank’s online bill pay:
- Log in to your bank’s online bill pay service and remove Town of Hillsborough from your list of payees.
- Enter a new payee for Town of Hillsborough using the following “remit to” address: Town of Hillsborough, PO Box 205232, Dallas, TX 75320-5232.
- Enter your account or customer number in the format shown here and as illustrated in the bill: 0000012345-000123456.
How do I obtain my new billing account number?
The newly designed Town of Hillsborough utility bill will include your new account number in the top right corner of the bill. The new bill will be mailed in early December 2016.
You also can access your new account number by calling 844-691-9177 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday or by visiting the Hillsborough Town Hall Annex, located at 137 N. Churton St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Will my payment due date and bill arrival date change?
The payment due date will remain the 25th day of each month, with payment due the following business day if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday. The bill also will continue to arrive in mailboxes during the first week of the month.
Handling of late payments will change:
- On the 26th day, late penalties will be applied if a bill has not been paid. Customers also will receive a reminder call and a late notice letter by mail.
- Following the 10th day of nonpayment, an additional $40 delinquency fee will be assessed and service will be disconnected. To be reconnected, the past due bill and all penalties and fees must be paid. Customers will have the opportunity to set up payment arrangements during the 10-day grace period.
What will be different about my bill?
Besides listing a new account number, the new bill will be printed in blue and black ink and will include a graph of your water usage and a detailed list of charges. Included with your first bill will be an insert with detailed information about the new bill format. Below is an example of how the consumption graph will look on your bill:
What payment methods are available?
See the Hillsborough Water and Sewer Billing and Collections page on this website for a listing of the payment methods.
How do I use the online features for customers?
Visit the customer portal and register using your new account number.
Are there times when the online customer portal is not available?
FATHOM performs routine maintenance on its systems on the second Saturday of each month. During this time, customers may experience intermittent access to the online portal.
How do I reach customer service?
Call 844-691-9177 or send an email to email@example.com between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.