We got another threat to turn off our water from the recently renamed
Suez water company
This changes from town to town, depending on whether the government maintains a municipal utilities authority to provide over sight.
In our case, moving from
to Union City apparently stripped
us of our ability to control this water company’s bad habits – even though both
cities use the company.
We never meant to get a contract with the company, but had purchased our house prior to the privatization of the services in
City so we automatically got a contract. For nearly 20
years we had only minor issues such as when they insisted on coming into our
house to install a new water meter and so we lost work hours because the
company maintained a strict
work schedule of its own.
But this is typical of utilities, such as phone and cable where you have to take off work in order to accommodate their needs.
Sometimes, the water company supposedly just shows up at your door and in our move, turned off our water in Union City without prior notice, and then for two days we had to negotiate a convenient time for them to come back and restore it.
The issue was the contract, which did not automatically transfer over to us with the purchase of the house as it had under a MUA regulated system like
claims you can go on line and set up an account, this proved not to be the case
in our situation. After four attempts and finally getting accepted on line, the
water company didn’t actually give us the contract. When I called them up, the
representative basically said it doesn’t really work.
It appears that
operating in cities with an MUA doesn’t line up with cities that don’t, and so
your old contract is useless, and more to the point, to get a new contract, you
have to leave a hefty deposit with Suez.
Also in some cases, there is a fee to turn the water back on once Suez decides you are unworthy of having water – and since it takes 24 to 48 hours to accomplish this (if you take off work to wait for the worker to come to do it between 9 and 5) you wind up with issues such not being able to flush the toilet, brush your teeth or shower. God help you if you have kids.
Since the only notice we got about the company turning off our water came when they left a note on our door handle as to how to turn the water back on after they turned it off, we had no warning or way to prevent it.
Understand, we never changed our phone number and so the company could have called us any time and left a message if we were not at home.
When finally, I negotiated to get the water turned back on, I gave them even more ways to contact us, such as my cell phone and work number.
So knowing that they are capable of turning off water at very inconvenient times such as a Friday when their business offices are closed over the weekend, we took quite seriously the letter delivered (again on Friday) telling us because we did not let the contractor into our house to change the meter, the company would once more turn off our water.
The fact no contractor actually contacted us, unless they happened to knock on our door during the work day when nobody was home and if they did, they left no notice that we should contact them.
This idea that the water company can create a health hazard without any over sight except by going to the state Board of Public Utility is very disturbing. Of course, the contractor as with
could not be contacted over the weekend so we live with the threat of losing
water. Suez doesn’t even put a contact
number of its own business offices on the threatening letter, but gives the
phone for the contractor, where the best we could do is leave a message.
When posting a comment on
facebook page, they did respond. They said they would email me. They never did.
But they did remove my comment from their facebook page. I suppose that is