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Homeowners Vent on Water Bill & Service | News

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Homeowners Vent on Water Bill & Service

ATLANTA -- Homeowners from seven Buckhead communities, frustrated with high water bills, and issues with customer service met face-to-face late Monday with Atlanta's Watershed Commissioner Rob Hunter for more than two hours, trying to get answers.

The meeting was put together by 11Alive's Bill Liss along with Wildwood community homeowner Bill Lucas.

Hunter led off the meeting with an assurance that customer service representatives who don't make the grade won't stay on the payroll.

"Every call that is made is recorded. If you call, we will go back and review that tape. We not only discipline people, we fire people," Hunter said.

One angry homeowner, Kevin Wade, says his family was away for 10 days, but that the resulting water bill for that particular month added up to more than $300.

"I am not a convinced or happy consumer. I have no choice but to pay my bill," Wade said. "This is $385. They told me if I didn't pay it in full, my water would be cut off."

"The customer service rep who is reviewing that bill - we are going to work through that," Hunter said in response.

Homeowners found it difficult to contain their frustration.

"It should never have come to this. If you had the systems, the technology, the staffing and all the technical things that you went thru at the beginning 98 percent accuracy, we should not be here. So there is clearly something wrong in the system," said another homeowner.

Hunter said many high bills come from summer watering and no irrigation meters that cut the cost.

"You go thru the neighborhoods like our people did looking at this and you don't have to be a genius to see who watering and is who is not," Hunter said.

Many homeowners insist they don't water anything and still end up with $900 water bills. Hunter says that Atlanta Watershed Management will review each case individually.

Homeowners said they would wait and see.