Southwest Water Company

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Unethical - Poor Customer Service: Southwest Water Company
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HOUSTON, TEXAS -- I also had a problem with this same company. When I lost my job I also had to decide whether to pay my water bill or buy food so a lot of times I made it just before being disconnected. This company makes up random rules to charge you the reconnection fee. I made the payment due and called at 9:00 AM to advise them of this on the day that I was scheduled to be disconnected. They the informed me that I had to pay the reconnection fee so that they could call dispatch and cancel the disconnection. I asked to speak to a supervisor and gave my number to them. They promised to call me back and never did. I was disconnected @ 4:00 PM that day (even though I posted a copy of my payment where the service man could see it). The technician said that all they had to do was pick up the phone and call him. Also, until 12:00 PM they are working the orders from the day before so Ec-Resources could have called him easily to cancel the disconnect, thereby negating any reconnect fee. He would never have driven out to disconnect my service.
Also, no one ever called me as I was promised. $50.00 to make a phone call is outrageous and I should not have had to pay this fee. I know that I am living month-to-month and should try to pay this bill on time. However, this is an unethical charge and Eco-Resources (now Southwest Water Company) just doesn't care. They tell other people that if you call before 12 that day you won't be disconnected. But it seems to be just random rules depending on whom you talk to. I can't seem to find out who decides rules and regulations since they aren't governed the way that normal water companies (in cities) are in which policies and procedures are straight forward.
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User Replies:
SaMoore on 08/10/2010:
Wow, a $50 reconnect fee is steep. Where I am you only have to pay a reconnect if your water was already disconnected. I would check with your state resource to find out what rules they are governed by... It does sound unethical.
goduke on 08/10/2010:
Contact the Texas Public Utility Commission:
Matt on 03/01/2012:
I got divorced from my wife and moved to a new residence. To get my name changed on the old bill at the old residence to her name, since it is her residence now, she had to pay disconnect fee and reestablishment fee for her address. I also had to pay fee to start service at my new address, and seller had to pay fee to stop service.

These FEES are ungoverned, unfair, unaccounted for, and should be illegal. SWWC is truly a bunch of unprofessional goons hired to extort money.
KSV on 11/02/2013:
They are the equal to organized crime. NO regulation. I try to make sure I pay my entire bill on time, NO online bill pay unless you want to go to yet another third party system and get ripped off being charged a steep percentage. I kept getting late charges and called and asked please tell me the exact amount I need to pay so I have no late messages next month. I receive a snicker on the other end and am told an amount. Go to Walmart and pay to clear the bill in entirety and the next bill shows a five dollar fee. NOT LATE MIND YOU BUT ANOTHER RANDOM FEE!
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Unreliable billing information
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- One Wilshire Building
624 S. Grand Ave., Ste. 290

I just recently moved to the US and have my water service from SWWC. I paid the bill every month far away before due date. On April and May, my bill is very low and is written due to the credit balance. No idea what is that, I paid it as it is. Suddenly on June, received a bill which include past due balance from April n May plus a late fee. I paid it anyway. However 1 day later, I received a warning letter saying my payment has not been received and as such an additional 10USD should be paid for delinquent fee. My payment must have crossed path with the warning letter.

I paid that 10 USD anyway, because I want to avoid complication of service being terminated and extra fee, etc. However with the 10USD payment, I sent a complain letter and also call the customer service to complain. Their answer was not very nice. It took me 30min before I got a response to the call and when someone answer, their question was "what is your problem, Ma'am...your payment is already received anyway and now all should be OK".

That is not the kind of answer that I want. So I explained to her that I'm angry because there is no notification on the past due balance from April and May before it was too late to pay. If they can send me a warning letter, why they never able send me notification prior to June billing that I have a past due balance so that I don't need to pay late fee and also another 10USD of warning letter fee.

I sent a complaint to their customer service website via email after that and I received no response. If I am not thinking about possibility to loose the deposit I gave to them in the beginning of the service and extra installation cost to move to another water company, I would already change water provider.

I don't know where is their address, in the website is in California. However I paid my bill every month to Brazoria County Mud#29 in Humble Texas.
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User Replies:
Anonymous on 06/30/2009:
You may also wish to file a complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission. Search for their web site and there will be contact information as well as a complaint form.
nitnot on 07/01/2009:
Thank you very much. A representative from the water company have just called me, apologize for my inconvenient and they will refund back the late fee charge. I know is not a lot of money, but still this is how it supposed to be.
chicagirl on 03/01/2012:
Hello Nitnot,
I am having a similar situation with Southwest water in MUD summerwood. What website did you go to dispute the billing or if you have a contact number for their main office. I am getting no help with their customer service.
Jennifer on 09/12/2013:
I just read you article and I wanted to let you know, it's not just in Blue Mound or "rural" areas that are suffering from the outrageous prices set forth by SouthWest Water Company. I recently moved to Pflugerville, Texas and have been dealing with high rates since the very beginning. Windermere Utiltiy, a part of Southwest Water Company, owns the water that is supplied to my area in Pflugerville. Here's the kicker: not all of Pflugerville uses this water company
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