NB: i curse in this post. i did not curse on the phone to the customer service people. give me a little credit.
i just went downstairs to start the laundry. i have no clean clothes. i have 3 kids at home for Christmas break and they are going through laundry fast.
turned on the washer, added soap and OxyClean, and the water stopped. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. can you say OH SHIT?
the first thing that crossed my mind was "I haven't received a water bill since I moved into this house. I wonder if the idiots cut off my water???" i ran upstairs and tried the kitchen sink. sputter, sputter, dribble, dribble. oh shit indeed.
called DH to tell of the sitch, then the city.
it's my fault, of course.
gave them my address, name, etc. they said, "we don't have you at that address; we have you at this one." well, DUH, that would make getting bills difficult!
the problem is we live in an OLD house on a corner. the mailing address is one street. apparently the water meter is filed under the OTHER street. i didn't even know that street number; we don't use that door, it's not the address you give out, so why would i keep it filed in the gray matter?
they took it upon themselves to change the address for BILLING to the address for METER-READING. when i suggest this is what happened, i'm wrong, of course; they would never do that.
IF i come in and pay them, they will try to get someone out before 5:00. no, i can't pay the water guy.
so i spoke to a manager. and i admit i'm pretty worked up. i have NO water, i received NO bills, i have 3 kids at home, it isn't my fault, and i will be DAMNED if i wait until some nebulous "by 5:00" time, AFTER i haul my butt to THEIR office to pay the bill. i will also pay late fees and reconnect fees WHEN HELL FREEZES OVER!
not the most efficient way to get the replies i want. *sigh* in the north, being a ball-busting bitch is the BEST way to get response. when we moved west, our realtor treated me like a stupid little lady, and when i got tough he told me he had no reason to want my business, but when i cried, i got results. I HATE THAT! in the south, being firm that their policies aren't good enough doesn't work, either.
the manager had a hard time listening to the problem because "THEY" would NEVER change the address. EVER. but i didn't even know it! the address _I_ provided would have gotten me a damn bill! she says, you were told the policy that we bill monthly when you activated the account. sure, but i didn't MEMORIZE it! i don't think about my water bill every damn day! i have lived in other cities where the bill was every other month; i just figured it would come eventually. and got caught up in other things. because my water bill is not my life. until today.
so she said she would look at the papers i filled out when i activated the account. i said, fine, you can prove i'm telling the truth. i told the woman, IF THIS WAS YOU, YOU'D BE FURIOUS. she didn't want to admit it but eventually said, yeah, i would.
ok. i'm calmer now. i just want somebody to understand that this is a major problem and i didn't cause it. yeah, i might have prevented it, but if a type-A person like me can't worry about what bill has come when, who would?
i'm awaiting a return call. i'm dressed in dirty clothes and ready to go to her office once i get it, to pay what i must and appeal the fees they are sure to have assessed.
do not cross the MamaBear!