As a lifelong resident of Phoenix, my recent experiences with them change everything. I have never been so humiliated or made to feel as low as recent interaction with City of Phoenix employees.. Brief summary, I live with my awesome adult son Jacob, who is on the spectrum. While never wealthy, I always managed to get our basic needs met. Being in social work, buying our home 13 years ago was an accomplishment and source of pride. My work being to assist the SMI population gain the life skills and resources to achieve self-sufficiency. Ironically, I'm the one in dire need of he. Life's never come easy to me, but I managed. That all changed after a violent marriage, sending my now ex-husband to prison. In the aftermath, our home flooded, my best friend took her life, my only child was viciously attacked and watched my sweet mom succumb to the evils of cancer. Admittedly, lost my way for awhile. After much therapy (can no longer afford) I was slowly trying to rebuild. My credit cards got me through financially once savings depleted, but am now in dire straits.
I received a notice from the city of Phoenix a couple weeks ago indicating our water would be shut off for non-payment on August 17, 2017. I sbegan looking into selling what stocks I had left, intent on meeting this deadline. Last week, my son entered confused and said "my faucet is broken". He later went on to report having seen "a man" in our gravel. Realizing our water had been shut off, I called the city of Phoenix and was horrified at their callous response. I was in tears explaining our circumstances and begging to be reinstated until the date listed on our final notice. The rep appeared to enjoy my upset and said "how long did you expect free water" or something to that effect. I apologized profusely explaining our circumstances and that my mind had been consumed by caring for my mom and the trial of my sons attacker. I also explained the date on the bill allowing another week. She couldn't have been ruder and ultimately, I hung up. After two days of trying to scrounge up what funds I could, I was able to pay $300 of the "required" $416 to reconnect. I pled with the rep to waive the insane reconnect fee ($65?), but was again humiliated by their indifference. This time, the CSR appeared to be mocking my crying. At several junctures, saying out loud "SUICIDE ALERT" or something similar. I was horrified and ignored this and her laughter with co-workers, apparently my anguish being the source of joy.
I'm appalled this is how they're choosing to treat a long time, loyal customer. I suppose kindness is not a prerequisite when consumers have zero option, BUT to use the city of Phoenix. the land fill will be stuffed with our water bills for drinking water and our neighbors are tiring of using their hoses. (but being quite kind about it). I've tried getting assistance for my hardship, but am comin up empty. I'm not good at seeking help as long prided myself on self sufficiency. Last week, my wonderful dog needed emergency vet care, so my already limited funds are even lower. I have no idea what to do and have now been without water for a week with no end in sight. I've cancelled dire medical appointments for MRI and colonoscopy etc due to not having the water to prep and keep toilets flushed! (sorry for the gross truth). My mom dying of rectal cancer makes these all the more dire. I'm not sure what this post will solve, just wanted to express my deep regret and seek any guidance provided. So, so devastated and wishing my son didn't have to endure this.
I certainly understand it's my responsibility to stay on top of my expenses, but have never been in such dire straits. I think the city holding a monopoly on water service allows for little incentive to be professional or empathetic. When the representative began laughing, speaking of "suicide alerts", I couldn't believe my ears and think such reckless comments would be of great interest to city managers, but am not sure such calls are recorded. Having history of depression and my best friends suicide make these comments even more painful and categorically unacceptable.The addition $65(?) fee to reinstate when already in dire need seems excessive and unfair. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.