OTTAWA -- The City of Ottawa says 2,000 clients will receive a full refund in the coming days after being mistakenly charged for four months worth of recreational membership fees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly membership charges have been suspended since March 17 when all municipal facilities were closed due to the pandemic. The closures included all pools, gyms, arenas and recreational facilities.

On Tuesday, approximately 2,000 clients were charged on their credit cards for April, May, June and July fees.

"An error in payment processing occurred, which resulted in those monthly payments being charged on the membership clients' credit cards," said Dan Brisebois, Acting General Manager of Recreation, Cultural and Facility Services.

"All affected clients will automatically receive refunds directly to their credit cards within the next few business days. To process the refunds, clients must be withdrawn from their memberships."

In a memo to Council, Brisebois says staff will assist clients in reactivating their membership.

An email has been sent to all City of Ottawa clients with email addresses on file to explain the situation and apologize.