$1 million water bill shocks woman
After spending four hours on a flight from freezing New York to Jamaica, Majoirie Bryan was shocked to find out that there was no water in her pipes at home in December 2016.
Following queries and checking her account online, Bryan, 65, was surprised to find out that she owed the National Water Commission (NWC) more than $1 million, which she said was incurred over a two-month period, according to a NWC representative.
The upset retiree, who lives in the United States, questioned what caused the high bill at her Kingston residence which no one occupies. She bought the property 10 years ago.
"I don't have a laundromat or a beauty parlour. A million dollars? That's very scary," she said.
Bryan said that she usually pays her bills online monthly from overseas and the bill has never amounted to more than $2,000.
To get some water to bathe and do chores for the two weeks that she spent at her home, she said she was asked to pay a fee.
"They told me that I have to come up with $30,000 to get water to bathe," Bryan told THE STAR.
However after that, she asked that the water be turned off as the matter was still being investigated.
But when she returned to the island last December, she said that she was asked to pay $500,000 for the water to be turned back on.
"I came back this Christmas and I have no water; I have to be going to a family friend to shower," she said.
Bryan said a private contractor she hired did not find any leaks.
"They (NWC) told me to get a plumber to fix the leaks but I explained to them that I don't have any leaks," she argued. "I told them that they need to send up there to check the meter to make sure it is working properly ... nobody came and they still have it down that I owe $1 million," she said.
After living in the US for over 40 years, Bryan said that she has postponed plans to return to Jamaica because of the huge utility bill.
"The other day, I was coming up (back to the US) and the beach is where I took my bath. Right on the beach is where I bathe, change my clothes and come straight to New York," she said.
THE STAR was unable to get a comment from the NWC despite several attempts.