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Report: #1392625

Complaint Review: City of Phoenix Water Department - Phoenix Arizona

  • Submitted: Mon, August 14, 2017
  • Updated: Mon, August 14, 2017
  • Reported By: Elizabeth44 — phoenix Arizona USA
  • City of Phoenix Water Department
    200 W. Washington street
    Phoenix, Arizona

City of Phoenix Water Department Horrified by insults and suicide "jokes" by rep when begging for water to be reinstated. Disabled, and had no water for a week! Phoenix Arizona

*Author of original report: Wasted energy, but necessary.

*Consumer Comment: One for the books..

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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.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/14/2017 10:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report

Wasted energy, but necessary.

AUTHOR: Nancy - (United States)

Wasted energy, but necessary.

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#2 Consumer Comment

One for the books..

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

Yes your story is one for the books, as you threw in just about everything except the kitchen sink.

We have your charity and social work, you getting out of an abusive marriage, having your house flooded out, having friends commit suicide, having an Autistic son who was violently attacked and now having to go through a trial, your mom dying of cancer, Emergency Vet Care for your dog. You even threw in having to cancel medical appointments because you couldn't prep for them due to lack of water.

Yes your life is tragic and you have survived which should be a great testimony about you.

But here is little problem about your "RipOff", yes your life is tragic but all of this was put in to just gain sympathy and how they should just continue to let you slide. Yes, because based on your own explanation of all of your issues you opened up quite a hole in your story. Where it appears that if you really wanted to pay the water bill you could have. You just gambled trying to hold off as long as possible, but in the end the gamble did not pay off.

You say I'm full of **it. Okay let's look at just one item the "Emergency" vet expense. You remember the one you had "last week". Well you have been delinquent in your water bill for more than a week...right? So how did you pay for the vet bill? Why couldn't you use that money for the water bill? Now, you see here is the trap you laid yourself.

You can't say that your pet is more important because the water bill would have been due BEFORE this vet bill, as remember it was an "emergency" meaning you wouldn't know it was coming up. So if you didn't know it was coming up the money you used for the vet bill could have paid the water bill. You can't say that the vet bill didn't cost you anything because you already stated it made your limited funds lower. You can't say that you knew about the upcoming vet bill because you would then have just shown you tried to make your story sound more sympathetic by using words such as "emergency".

But then on the same tact, why did you feel that the vet bill was more important than water? Why didn't the vet allow you to pay at a later date so that they could care for the pet and you could pay your water bill? I mean you did ask them to do that...right? If they refused where is the report on them caring about money more than the well being of a pet?

How come your neighbors won't help you out more? Where is the report on them? I know that many churches and other charities have funds for these short term emergencies, and many don't require you to do anything more than show the need. Which if we take your report at face value would more than qualify you.  So why didn't  you ask them, and if they refused again where is the report on them.

Unfortunately it comes down to the choices you made, and you made this one the "fall guy" for all of your issues.
Coming up with the "Well if they were not a monopoly they would do what ever I want because I would just go somewhere else". Yea...keep dreaming in that alternate reality. As you can see case after case where companies that are not monopolies still take collection efforts against NON-PAYING "customers". Oh and the first thing any other water utility would ask is for a payment history from your previous one. Once they found out you have a delinquent balance and poor payment history if they offered you service at all they would require a HUGE deposit.

Good luck and I guess be thankful you still have access to the Internet, after all that is more important than water.

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