• Report: #1094764
Complaint Review:

The Cleveland Water Department

  • Submitted: Sat, October 26, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, October 26, 2013

  • Reported By: Linda — Cleveland Ohio
The Cleveland Water Department
1201 Lakeside Ave. E, Cleveland,, Ohio USA

The Cleveland Water Department - NEORSD Overcharging, Fraudulant Billing, Extortion and Illegally Terminating Services for a Severely Disabled Citizen Cleveland, Ohio

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My water had been shut off at 9am, and with exhausting diligence on my end, turned back on at 3:15pm. I need to share my 5yr. Cleveland Water Department battle with my neighbors to bring this situation to light. Keep in mind if you are a senior or permanently disabled with medical necessity, no utilities are to be shut off due to the possible critical implications and legalities. They are accusing me of stealing water as well. As it stands: I always pay my water/sewer bill-have not missed one pmt. I pay what I know is my water usage-they bill me triple that amt. They've been doing it for yrs. Councilman Zone helped a couple of times in the beginning 2008 or so-but I started to receive no responses so I stopped calling. The construction crew ripping up my street shut it off-(Harrison Contractors?) but couldn't turn it back on. They told me to call the water emergency #. Called the emergency number at Water and found out they put my account into ‘Investigations’ where they said it is a "Tampering" acct. I did not know what that meant-they say my service was to end last yr. (?) but I'm still receiving water so "they" say I must've tampered w/it and they transferred me to numerous operators and dropped my call many times. After much frustration and non- communication, as usual, I was told by Miss Walden in ‘Investigations’ • “Tampering" is a $500 fine attached for stealing water, i.e. service has been shut off and the customer turns it back on, she said, I owe for this. • Since my water was never turned off nor do I have any clue as to how turning it back on is done, plus in my case ‘illegally tampering’ is a false charge and accusation of a crime, I will not pay it. Requesting a supervisor*, she stated that she made the decisions. ** I said I would contact an attorney. Ms. Walden replied “before you consider that which would cost you more money…” She suggested ‘paying the fee because an attorney would cost more” I said that an attorney was my business. She suggested then ‘…*or talk to her supervisor ** who may or may not waive the fee.’ - (I left msgs for Ms. Smith already) I said I would contact an attorney. Then I asked if the $500 ‘criminal’ fee was extra over ‘usage’ in this $1929 or was included and she said it was included. And so I requested that my payment be half of the water charge as I am disputing the $500 illegal tampering fee in addition to the overbilled water charges $1929- $500 = $1429/ 2 $714.57 which is still more than I should pay. Ms. Walden said it had to be half the bill as it is. I also mentioned that my bill should reflect Homestead Credit for permanent disability; Ms. Walden said it expired even though I already did my re-eval. They obviously ‘lost’ my application. Plus, I applied for and received the Storm/Watershed credit of an additional 25% which also she could not find. With my disability the water should never have been shut off-That is illegal. $500 for a fake tampering fee? I cannot be the only one this has happened to? Nice scam to add to the corruption ongoing. In Ms. Walden’s advice; “An attorney would just add to the money owed and why would I want to contact them…” Why indeed!? I agreed to pay half of a fraudulently charged bill. $1929 /2 = 964.57. I want a refund. My Water will be on w/this pmt, but I won’t pay the fee for a crime that never happened and the remaining $464.57 I will dispute because as far as it looks, they have had and still do owe me money from fraudulent readings and my over gross payment today. This has been going on for years and it started consistently when the water lines were replaced in 2008. They left a geyser gushing for two months next to my house past the street completion. I called them-they forgot. They came and took the hose away and charged me for the water they wasted. and The Water Dept. started charging me more than double what my bill was when all units were occupied, when I was living here alone. My quarterly bills fluctuated with balances of $1500 to $3000 back to $1000 and with no viable reason or usage. The Water Dept. arbitrarily raised prices because the past two yrs. of rainwater levels and rain barrel usage have been sufficient for yards and farming, decreasing the Water Dept. revenue sources. Responsibility to the environment and implementation of barrels means higher water prices and penalization for our efforts. Having to pay this amount (borrowed in emergency) feels like extortion and has left me in a precarious situation. As I stated before, I pay my bills. It is what you do. I do not have much leftover. I am not complaining. It deserves no applause. But being forced to pay triple for lifesaving necessities such as water, electricity, breaking my acct and holding my disability-quadriplegia and complications therein in jeopardy for product and service never used, and certainly never stolen/ nor tampered with, is criminal. It seems living in Cleveland is very difficult for honest homeowners like me, but with my situation there is nowhere else to go if city services overbill me out of my home . I know this subject has been covered before but I’d still like to get a reporter involved. Every payment I’ve made by check and electronically are here and anyone who would show interest is welcome to it and my story. I need help once and for all so I may contently live here without such corruption in city services and willingness to shut down services under false pretenses landing this quad in the hospital. My taxes are paid. My contribution and citizenship is exemplary. Thank You for Listening. Please Help

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/26/2013 10:08 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/the-cleveland-water-department/cleveland-ohio-44114/the-cleveland-water-department-neorsd-overcharging-fraudulant-billing-extortion-and-i-1094764. 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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