Outstanding Bill For Old City's Utilities

SusieDerk

LoanSafe Member
When we moved out of our house, we explicitly told the city to turn off our power AND water, since the house would be vacant. And closed the account. Well fast forward about a year, we were finally at the Cash For Keys step of our DIL, so my husband went by the house to make sure it was in good condition still (we lived a few states away so hadn't been by to check on it in a few months) and somehow the back family room was flooded! Turns out, a pipe and froze, burst and then leaked for months because they never did turn off the water!!! And since the water was constantly (albeit slowly) running for a few months, we racked up a huge water bill (over $1000!!!!).

They never would have been able to bill us for this, except that we HAD to have the power turned back on so my husband could repair the damage! So then they sent a bill for the month's of water usuage. I tried fighting it but they insisted I never requested the water to be turned off (which I most certainly did!!) and now it has been turned over to collections, and they added another $450 to the bill for their own fees. I wrote a few letters as to why I should not have to pay this but I never heard back. I assume its still out there and I still have to pay it eventually, but I am so angry.

We don't have this money to spend in the first place and also, besides the DIL, we had nothing else bad on our credit. And now we have this outstanding delinquent bill with a collection agency mucking up our credit. We will never get ahead!!!! Is there anything I can do about this since technically it isn't my fault??
 

Moe Bedard

Call 1-800-779-4547
Staff member
Loan Safe Mortgage
I'm sorry to hear about this. I have learned over the years that every company, whether it be a bank, privately owned or a city owned firm is after my money and sometimes they will be unethical and ruthless in going after it. Water companies are no different than the rest of the corporations who control our lives.

One of my favorite sayings is to trust, but ALWAYS VERIFY. Meaning, trust that things will go right, but always verify to make sure your bases are covered when you rely one someone else to do what they say or their job.

The best thing you could have done in addition to requesting the water be turned off was to winterize the place and turn off the water supply from the street to the house.

If you have proof that your requested it be shut off, you can possibly sue them in small claims court.
 

pennygram

working for consumers
check your cell phone bills to see if you placed a call to them along with the other utilities. Water companies are the worst because they are usually owned by a city so what they say goes regardless. Lessons I have learned the hard way:

1. Always record your calls and then email them to yourself - make sure to check the state laws on recording calls and do what you believe is in your best interest.

2. Use a phone that has a log to make all of your calls. Keeping your phone logs on a monthly basis takes very little room especially if you get a scanner and cloud storage.

3. Trust no creditor under any circumstances - if it ain't in writing it don't exist.

4. don't whine if you don't read before you sign.

Good Luck
 
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