In Feb. of 2017, there was a city meeting so residents of Maricopa Arizona can express their concerns with the local-private water company of Global Water. The meeting was over 2 hours and began with residents speaking, then a response from the CEO of Global Water, Ron Fleming.
Here are my notes of the meeting:
Resident’s of Maricopa Concerns:
# 1 – Avg, usage of 200 gallons and. Next billing went up to 1000 gallons. The problem is that Global Water charges $30 to check for any issues.
# 2 – There has been 7 issues in 7 years. Received deposit back and asked again for deposit. In one month it was documented that 30K gallaons of water used so called but call center said you must have a leak. But next month, back to normal rates with no explanations. Can’t trust the bill. The problem was a Global Water transmitter. Call center had no understanding of the water usage tiers
#3 – (Winter visitor) – being charged for when not present as gone for 7 months. Charge $279 for 1 month of water, called and he was informed by service rep. that maybe your neighbor stole water (to fill pool). Does not understand how bill ranges from $90-$279 a month.
#4 – A $29 water basic charge, Waste water basic charge (what is this?) My water comsumption is only $13.
#5 – Received bill for $707 as bill said 130,000 gallons of water for 1 month.
#6 – Bill remains the same even though less occupants and water reducing activities.
#7 – Water has been shut off 5-6 times. Also, your water sucks (dirty).
#8 – From New York, $40 every 3 months for water. Who keeps track of the flat rate infrastucture that we are paying? When will the infrastucture will be paid for? A $20 bill will be fair!! Who is keeping track of the payback. Will bill ever be lower?
#9 – How do you know that water meters are accurate?
#10 – Can you notify me if my water usage spikes ? Let us know before we receive a large bill.
#11 – Received bill for $528. Charged 500 gallons of water a day but don’t consume that amount. Being notified that water will be shut off. Will fight charges and nobody has stopped by to see what the issue is.
#12 – Only 2 people and bill was 76,000 gallons of water used. Customer service said water heater, or irrgation problem, Meter was read wrong and bill adjsuted.
#13 – Recommends Global Water checks for hacks of system.
#14 – Received bill for $830. Worked with Global Water 2 weeks and informed had to pay water bill. Threaten legal action and 2 days later Global Water said they misread meter by 1 number.
#15 – Received bill for $500. How can water go from 3013 gallons with no visible problem to 7359?
#16 – Concerned about infrastucture and Global Water’s ability to provide reilable service to residents due to recent water leaks. Also, something going on with meter readings.
#17 – Received a 20K water usage bill. Meter checked ok but following month back to 1800 gallons. Something is going on.
#18 – Charge for a bigger meter. Poor customer service
#19 – Late fee could not be waived.
#20- Water bill highest in all AZ
#21 – Global water does not care as indicated by their defense of blaming customers that there must be a leak. A complaint to ACC needs to be filed.
#22 – Why meters and pipes allowed to go bad? Who is responsbile?
#23 – From CO and never seen a bill like Global Water’s. Only use $5 in water. GW taking advantage of people.
Response from Ron Fleming – CEO
Response begins at 1:30:10 on video below:
1. Global Water did not build the failing infrastructure that was acquired. Can’t dig up and replace. A conversation for a different day.
2. Global Water cares about the city and customers. Work hard to deliever safe water service.
3. GW recognizes they are not perfect and are working on improvements.
4. Concerns today are real and will figure it out.
5. Present facts, Global Water is not required to provide daily reads but is doing to be proactive. NO utility in the country that does it. Help customers better manage their water usage / leaks,
6. Billing concerns; reviewed all complaints since…
7. Present some facts; data and facts matter.
8. Moving forward, CEO will review every complaint personally. Recognize that improvements need to be made at call center which is located in Phoenix.
9. Facts – 37 complaints since Oct of 2016. Only 7 provided evidence that there was an error. During that time, there were 73,000 billings. Errors related to human and technical error. 1 out of every 10,000 billings, 1 error occurs.
10. The perception that Global Water is intentionally overbilling customers – believe meters are failing or intentional falsication of system. When meters fail, it’s in the customers favor since a meter is mechanical as it turns. Under-register as meter gets older.
11. If an error / complaint, always go back to reading the meter. To ensure customer is being billed correctly.
12. Response to “it must be a leak” from Global Water, GW is working on call center and employees on how to respond to customers. Helped 100’s of customers identify leaks on their end. Working on meter project to install better meters. Get the best products in the ground.
13. You can go online to view daily usage; launching a new customer portal in which customers can set a threshold to be alerted via text or email. Only a few companies provide this service and Maricopa customers should have it within 4 months.
14. Leaks can occur to create a large bill, it can happen, and happen without customer physically seeking it.
15. Other cities receiving call complaints as well.
16. Will follow ACC corporation rules on water (how bill, late fees, disconnect fees). Will stick with rules and no exception. Customer occuring the expense to pay for expense.
17. Reliability of service; top prorioty,
18. Confirms 3 water breaks this year
19. Water outages – 16 outages, average affect 43 customers and lasting 2 hours and 16 minutes
20. 10,000 water samples a year are conducted – 4 minor complaince events so 99.99 complaiance rating. TRACKED by ADW – so record of customer becoming ill from services.
21. Will explain rates at another time. Looks forward to continue the discussion in the future.
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