Two years ago I started delivery service with Sparklett's water. I ended my service and paid the final bill. Two months later, I received a bill for an additional $100.00. Amazed that this company was billing me for water and services I no longer received, I called to speak to a representative. I was put on hold and after a 20 minute wait, informed that there was no regional manager for my area, but that my matter would be resolved. Apparently, according to the representative, the unwarranted charge was a "service cancellation fee" that is not to be charged after customers (including me) keep the service for one year or longer. WHEW! The last thing I wanted was some company erroneously charging me a fee after I quit their service.
SURPRISE! I got another bill. Only this one stated that my account would be sent to collections if I didn't pay up! THis was certainly looking like muddy water! The matter that I believed was resolved, was NOT! I called again, speaking to Paul at the Pasadena, CA office. He looked into my case and pulled up an extraordinary contract, he said. Though I did not receive a copy of this bogus contract (he offered to send me one), he said that "normally" they don't charge this termination fee after a year, but "MY contract" gave them the right to! Wow! I felt special (not!)
He put me on hold and spoke to his supervisor, Valerie Ruiz. He came back and said they would have to return my call as they had to look into this matter more closely. I felt that I had been served up some bottled bullshit. The last guy a month before said he would call, notated in my "log" that he did, but didn't bother. I doubted that "Paul" would call, but he did.
Yes, Paul called me back. Good news too! He said his supervisor authorized him to not only "eliminate" my termination fee, but he was even going to eliminate my ten dollar late charge as well! Yes, it's true, they had added a late charge to their bogus fees!
There was, of course, a catch... I would have to pay a $35.00 "refurbishment" charge. This, even though I had the service over two years, because they have to charge to "clean the machine," as Paul put it. This was going to be in leiu of the $110.00 and Paul thought it was a much better deal. Wow, swap one phony charge for another!
Well, it was all new to me. When I paid each month for my rental fee, my service fee, and my water fee, nobody bothered to mention that there would be a final fee for returning their water dispenser so they could "clean it!" Doesn't it seem like common sense that that would be included in the price of renting the equipment. But, as I has already found out, Sparklett's is a murky company with secrets that the consumer only finds out by calling and being placed on hold while the answers are devised, changed, made up, and contorted to fit the gullability of the customer.
The representative, Paul, advised that I could make the payment by credit card or by check. My credit rating is important to me and I paid the $35.00 "cleaning fee." They were successful at squeezing a few dollars out of me. Perhaps I should feel grateful that it wasn't the amount of the bill they would be sending, plus late fees.
What a nightmare! I'm filtering my water at home now. No contract, no cleaning fee!
Thanks, Sparkletts and DC Waters. You screwed me for only a portion of what you would have if I hadn't called you!