In June 2012 AMS Billing became my apartment complex's new metering service monitors when our property was bought out by a different company. My water bills from Oct. 2011 to June 2012 were between $14-16, varying very little. Once AMS took over, my bill shot up to $29 in July.
This is especially odd considering I was gone every other weekend during the billing period from June 8 to July 8, including a 5-day out-of-town vacation for the 4th of July holiday. I asked my property manager to explain the charges and even he thought it was odd and shouldn't be done this way. Upon numerous attempts to get in touch with AMS billing, I was told to call them directly and, to their credit, they did return my call and Dan was cordial in his explanation of the billing methods (using percentages and averages combined with a meter reading instead of just reading the meter as had been done before).
Despite his explanation, it still sounds as if I'm being charged for water they think I'm using, rather than water I'm actually using. And when you look at my past bills you can clearly see that my water usage is consistent and should not be that high.
Upon checking AMS's website it states "Regardless of the size or architecture of your facility, AMS can work with you to add value to your property and increase your bottom line. Allow AMS to manage your utility billing service so that you can focus on whatever is important to you!" right on the front page. Sounds like a veiled way of saying "we make it easier to rip off your customers so you can pocket more cash."
This is one of the shadiest practices I've ever seen and more people should be aware of it. If you are thinking of renting an apartment anywhere, check with them about how they bill their utilities first. Make absolutely sure you're not dealing with AMS billing or be prepared to be charged for water you didn't use.