Eastbourne Borough Council has apologised for causing confusion today (Monday, May 16) after residents were sent text messages asking for money.
The council say the error, which saw residents incorrectly told they owned money for their council tax, took place during the testing of a new IT service.
A spokesman for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “Incorrect text messages regarding council tax were sent out in error to a number of residents today.
“Some people were wrongly told they had an outstanding balance when they did not owe anything.
“This mistake happened during a trial of a new service which will allow us to inform residents via text when a payment is due.
“We are sorry for this error and advise anyone who has received a text from us today about council tax to please ignore it.”
Ian Robertson, one of the residents who received the message, said he had spent several hours trying to find out if the message was genuine.
He said, “I thought it must have been a scam or something at first as they had all my account details. It’s taken a couple hours out of my day off as I’ve been running around and trying to get to the bottom of it.
“I tried ringing a few times but I kept getting a busy signal. In the end I went down to the council offices and there was a huge queue of people. One of the staff said it was a systems error and half the queue disappeared.
“If it happens again I’ll be asking the council to delete my number,”
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