Thursday, June 11, 2009

Water Bills

If you had no water pressure in your house, but there was a hole in the sidewalk in front of your house where water was gushing out, where men had been working earlier that day, you'd assume a connection, right?

And if you called the city to say that there was a leak outside and that you had no water pressure, and then someone came out and fixed the gushing sidewalk hole, you'd assume a connection, right?

And if you then got a water bill for 43,000 gallons of water, rather than your normal 2,000 gallons, you'd assume it was connected to the above, right?

Apparently not, if you're the City of Houston. After talking with mumbly people on the phone who I can't understand, or people that assure me that there is no record of anyone doing work here (in which case we've got teams of rogue road workers!), or some imbecile who insists that her records show I have a pool and the high rate must be because I was filling it (if you can find a pool here, that would surprise me!), or two girls a month apart who each promised they'd send me a form to formally complain, and three people who each said I had only to pay the regular monthly payment for 2,000 gallons rather than that spike until things got sorted out (which I have been doing), yesterday I got a notice that my water bill payment is delinquent. No forms have ever arrived, needless to say.

I've never been in a situation like this, and it feels a bit like the twilight zone...anyone know what to do? I'm thinking I'll write an actual letter detailing everything (I wish I'd thought to get the names and supervisors of the road workers, but I assumed that, having a City of Houston logo on their vehicle, and since they're still working on my street several months later, they weren't rogue road repairmen!), but perhaps I should call my-uncle-the-lawyer to see what he says... I could possibly scrape together enough money to pay for the 43,000 gallon bill, but I'd rather not, and I REALLY don't want the City to get away with that -- who else are they doing that to?


  1. UhOh...hate to tell ya, but I work for a city (not Houston) and that sounds SO typical. Yup, better get it in writing! And the lawyer might be helpful for advise if it have to go any further. What a hassle...

  2. did you take any pictures? so sorry. This is awful.