LOS ANGELES (CBS) — City officials say they have a plan to crack down on faulty billing practices by the Department of Water and Power and are calling on customers to come forward with complaints.

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Councilman Dennis Zine is behind an effort to order the DWP to address the issues, including a request for City Controller Wendy Greuel to report on the feasibility of a potential independent audit of the DWP’s billing and collection practices.

Zine tells KNX 1070 that his constituents in the San Fernando Valley first alerted him to the back-billing that was costing ratepayers thousands of dollars.

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“We estimate that over 30,000 customers have been over-billed to the tune of thousands of dollars, so we’re looking into it to find out what the situation is,” Zine said.

Issues involving commercial customers have also come to light after new meters were installed but never getting fully connected to the system a glitch that can delay billing for nearly two years.

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While the DWP is set for an extensive billing system upgrade in early 2013, Zine says there is an immediate need to review the department’s current billing and collection systems.

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