Hillsboro Water Department customers accustomed to paying their water bills online might notice that upon accessing the city’s utility bill payment website, the log in process and website design have changed and customers who previously had established accounts will need to register for new accounts.
Upon accessing the online payment platform, users are greeted with the following: “Please note if you had an account, you will need to create a NEW account. We apologize for the inconvenience, this is part of an update.”
Water department representatives said that the referenced update was initiated by the software company that services the website’s content in an effort to make it more user friendly. The representatives explained that the new sign-in methods will make it ultimately easier for customers to access their accounts, despite any initial inconvenience experienced by the modification to the prior formatting.
The representative explained that the changes make signing in easier because customers used to have to supply a long list of information, ranging from a PIN number to a book and account number, before being able to log into their accounts. The representative said that the new system provides greater efficacy in that users need only supply an email address and password to sign in.
The representative said that before the systems update, “We were always getting calls” from people “who had forgotten their PIN numbers.”
Replacing PIN numbers with an email and password as log in credentials could still cause confusion for those acclimated to the previous website design, water department representatives conceded, but they reassured that they encourage anyone having difficulty understanding to call into the water department office so that assistance can be provided.
Hillsboro Chief of Police Eric Daniels, who has an extensive background as a system administrator and a master’s degree in computer information systems, said, “The recent utility billing portal upgrade was an enhancement to both the customer security and user experience. This is a Cloud based service provided in partnership with Frey Municipal Software and the city of Hillsboro. The technologies used are industry standard utilizing information technology best practices.”
Water department representatives reiterated that customers can still pay in person, over the phone, by postal mail, or via drop box, in addition to the website’s online system.
For more information, access the city of Hillsboro’s website at https://www.hillsboroohio.net.
Juliane Cartaino is a stringer for The Times-Gazette.