• Report: #496534

Complaint Review: Birmingham Water Works

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  • Submitted: Thu, September 17, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, September 17, 2009

  • Reported By: Mazy — Birmingham Alabama USA
Birmingham Water Works
birminghamwaterworks.com Birmingham, Alabama United States of America

Birmingham Water Works Sewer and Water Utility Gouges Customers, and Engages in Unethical Billing Practices to Cover Internal Corruption and Loss Due to Theft Birmingham, Alabama

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I missed one $25 water payment by mistake. I intended to make it up on the next bill. I received a second bill with the unpaid balance on it, and the date to pay was Aug. 19th. On Aug. 14th my water was turned off.   I asked, why did you turn off my water when my bill says I have until the 19th? He referred me to the letter. I was told that I received a letter on Aug. 7th stating my water would be turned off in 7 days if I didn't pay the balance. I did receive a letter but did not read the entire letter, only the beginning saying I had a returned check which I knew, and I disregarded the rest. It never occurred to me that any creditor would not allow you to pay a neglected balance on your next bill. I had no choice but to pay what they stated I owed which was $107 plus $150 fee to turn it back on.  I wasn't sure where $107 came from but I could hardly argue with no running water. Mistake number 1, I paid ONLINE assuming they took the money out immediately as my water was turned back on same day. Two weeks later they removed $114 from my checking account, mistake number 2, I was on auto draft.  I removed my account from auto draft on the 25th as I knew I owed nothing. On the 28th they attempted to remove $156 and $107 from my account. I called and notified them that I owed nothing and I was no longer on auto draft. They said I was still on auto draft and had no record of my removal. Then instructed me that my account was CREDITED with $109. I had overpaid?? And indeed a bill 5 days later on 9-3 said my account was credited $91.77.  They owed me money according to this bill.  On 9-17 my water was again shut off.  This time, a phone call revealed that there was in fact no credit, and I owed them $88 because the auto draft didn't go through (20 DAYS after I had paid it online). If my bill on 9-3 had said $88, I would have paid it. Why would I pay a bill I don't have, or a bill that is credited $97? 

I still have no water, and I'm not paying them until someone explains to me why a government run utility company has an unethical practice of billing (delayed billing?) and an unethical practice of gouging, and purposely turning off my water twice without any notice whatsoever when their billing is WRONG.  It's WATER! You cannot live without water.

Birmingham Water Works not only charges an exorbitant fee of $150 to turn the water back on, but they do NOT notify you when your water is turned off, when it will be or even if it will be. The man who turns it off could come to your door and tell you, or notify you that your bill is due and collect then. But they don't, on purpose.

Birmingham Water Works of Birmingham Alabama has been using gouging, intimidation, and unfair billing practices for years in order to cove their losses due to corruption within the city government and theft from their own executives. 

Other utilities, electric and gas, will give you 60- 90 days to rectify a mistake you have made in paying your bill, or if you cannot pay they offer a payment plan. If you have forgotten to pay one month, the balance is carried over to the next.  If your service is shut off, the fee is roughly $30 to reconnect. Everyone makes a mistake once in awhile forgetting to pay something, or balancing their checkbook wrong. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/17/2009 02:37 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Birmingham-Water-Works/Birmingham-Alabama-35283/Birmingham-Water-Works-Sewer-and-Water-Utility-Gouges-Customers-and-Engages-in-Unethical-496534. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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