my water bill

roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)August 23, 2006

ya'll - i just needed to vent. I walked outside last night to check my meter - curiosity - and compared it to my bill. They evidently ESTIMATED my water bill last month. Yes, my $250.00 water bill from last month.B/c the reading has not even reached what the bill said i used last month!

I called a friend who works for another water company to confirm what i was looking at, we went over several of the bills. She said that they (Water companies) sometimes estimate the bills if they can't get to the meter - although we could not figure out a reason that She said i definitely needed to call them - and that my water bill should be NOTHING this time.

I was SOO ticked!!!!!!! You can NOT imagine.

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I worked at a utility company years ago and yes, many utilities (gas, electricity, water) are estimated for various reasons.
At our house, we have 2 water meters - one that registers ALL the water that comes onto our property and another that registers the water that goes to the irrigation system. Meter readings for the irrigation system are subtracted from the total and then sewer charges are figured based on water that actually went into the house - therefore, into the sewer.
Yes, my water bill was $400+ last month but adjustments will be made and there will be probably two or three months where I will have no water bill at all (shows up as a credit).
It does hit the old pocket book heavy occasionally but then I feel like I've received a gift. However, the utility company is using my money all that time. Hmmmm...

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:44AM
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Call them and tell them you can read a meter as well as they can and it is wrong - way wrong. Tell them if it was within $25 of being correct, you would not complain and accept the credit later but since it is way out of line they need to come read it again. Ask them if they have extra money to lend you out of their personal pockets to help pay the unfairly assessed bill. If the decline, tell them to come read it again. Y'all better be glad you don't live in Jefferson County and have Bham water. In the last 10 years sewer rates have gone up 300%. My sewer bill is almost twice my water bill. Water has gone up several times. It seems since the drought of 2000-2001, between sewer rate hikes and water conservation, BWWB users have saved so much water the water board had to raise rates to generate more revenue. We are in a stage 2 drought condition and Bham water users are not supposed to water lawns or wash cars except certain days; however, the water board let a huge broken water main bubble hundreds of thousand of gallons of water after it was reported for over a week because they didn;t have anyone to look at it. TV news had to bring their attention to it. BTW, two former JEFFCO commissioners who were in charge of the sewers have been convicted of corruption. One of the water board members is mayor of a small Bham suburb and someone I've known since grammar school. He has voted to raise rates and waste money several times. He knows better because he was like me, he barely had a pot to P in as he was growing up. Sylvia and I once received a $2000 gas bill. Oops, they had replaced the meter and didn't record it. She panicked and I just laughed and called ALAGASCO to tell them to read the meter and re-bill me. Rosie, don't let them screw with you on this. Stand firm!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 1:04PM
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Rosie, I found it somewhat of a convenience for them to "estimate" the bill. Were the dogs outside and where is your meter?
I was told it was because of my dogs. The dogs barked but were on the back 4 acres and it's fenced. The meter is on the side of the house. DUH I did my best to be polite but you all know my mouth.
Tell them you cannot afford to pay such unreasonable charges and expect it to be read. You then need the credit for this month if any needed and the rest to be refunded. I'm sure they will say no. Advise them you will not pay estimated bills in the future due to their errors. Follow up by contacting the board and complaining.
No excuse for laziness and not reading the meter OR not having enough personnel with the profit the utility companies make. Look at the managements' salaries.
Get mean.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 2:37PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Hi Terry & Lynn,

I talked to them today, and told them what the meter read. They were SUPPOSED to come back out here, and SUPPOSED to call me back. But they didn't - so i will call them back in the am.

Yes, i will show my butt if needed. Dogs are in a fence by the house. The meter is 2 feet off the main roadway. So no, there was NOTHING to get in the way - i personally think it was laziness.

I will keep you posted. And Terry - i have been noticing in the news that there are a LOT of corrupt politicians - board members - etc., who are getting their just returns now! :)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 9:41PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

no sewer or garbage costs thank God.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 7:55AM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

I argued like hell with them - they apologized - still not crediting me on the late fee (which i wouldn't have had if i had not had such a high bill) - they said, well, you have used that much in two months, it was an error.

I finally gave in and told them (1) I would read my own meter also every month from this point forward; (2) I will start paying hte bill online (must have debit/credit card) so i can pay at last minute electronically.

I also gave them hell b/c their website sucks. I understand errors - but they COULD credit the late fee ($25) - but they won't.....and hell, i mailed it on the 17th - it was due on 16th - didn't get paid until 15th....such is life....

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:48PM
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Unfortunately the Public Service Commission allows utilities to estimate bills up to every two months or 6 times a year. Hmmm - Public Service Commission - an oxymoron like "Military Intelligence". Reading your meter is a good thing and notify them immediately when they have exceeded the real billing.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 5:06PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Terry, you are SOO correct in the oxymoron. And yes, they WILL be notified immediately.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2006 at 5:20PM
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roseyp8255(z8 - SC AL)

Believe it or not ya'll, i went to see the manager about a week ago - and they credited me the late fee, since my bill would not have been late if THEY had not overestimated it! I just had to let ya'll know....

    Bookmark   September 27, 2006 at 7:38AM
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