James Hunter

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What does Homeserv USA (HEIS) pay SJWC

I noted that during the interview that Tony Kovaleski had with Richard Roth CEO of SJW Corp., as well as San Jose Water Company, SJWCTX, SJWC Land company, etc.), resulted in Mr. Roth saying,"legally we don't have to". The question was the request for transparency and access to information, on a variety of topics that can affect our (the ratepayers) water rates. View the interview "SJ Public Utility Keeps Some Spending Private" and the accompanying article. Did SJWC also receive an exclusivity fee as did CWS?

We encounter more information that other Bay Area water utilities have published, but that the San Jose Water Company failed to publish.

Who is promoting Water Pipe Insurance and what do they get, in the Bay Area?

Water Company
Employee Recommending
Jerry Brown, CCWD,  General Manager
$4.95 month
Robert Day, SJWC Director of Customer Service
offered May 2013
$4.95 month
Walt Wadlow, ACWD’s
General Manager
$4.95 month
Vicki Goldman, DSRSD, Customer Services Supervisor
offered Jul. 2013
$4.95 month
CWS Utility Services (California Water Service Group)
Paul Ekstrom, CWS, Customer Service & Information Systems
$1,169,000 yr, for 7 yrs exclusivity
$4.95 month
Great Oaks Water Company
Tim Guster, Vice President,  Great Oaks Water Company
$5.25 month

I found six water utilities in the Bay Area offering water pipe insurance from Homeserv USA (AKA HEIS, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions). Three have published on there web sites that they are being compensated, a percentage (%) of insurance premiums paid by you (ratepayers), to Homeserv USA. In one case Dublin San Ramon Services District disclosed it also received a one time payment for administrative support. In recent research a report from DRA/ORA also showed that CWS CaliforniaWater Services is receiving an exclusivity fee of $1,169,000.00 (per/year for 7 years) in addition to its standard contracted business activity revenue, from insurance premiums.  The table shows the water companies/districts that have not disclosed, indicated by (?), the compensation they are receiving from Homeserv USA.

It's apparent that openness and transparency is lacking on the part of the publicly traded water utilities or privately owned. Although there is a pleasant Vimeo video by Robert (Bob) Day the Director of Customer Services, "Bob Day of San Jose Water Company shares his experience of partnering with HomeServe". He also signed the cover letters many of us have received, from Homeserv USA or Home Emergency Insurance Solutions. Hmmm, I can't find who is paying what to whom and where the money is going? The video is really a very nice commercial, in my opinion, but other than providing rather nebulos statements of how the "fundamental values are shared", by both companies and extensive research was conducted, before recommending Homeserv............ watch the video and draw your own conclusions. It's also hard to understand why San Jose Water Company has only two stars on Yelp and I did notice that Bob makes an effort to monitor the Yelp reviews. I believe this may be a painful experience for any person, involved with SJWC, to read so many bad reviews.

If your concerned about the potential  San Jose Water Company 44% Rate Increase, Homeserv USA water pipe insurance, the 2 star Yelp rating for SJWC and a possible exclusivity fee, send an email as described below to remind our elected officials and CPUC that we are concerned and have not forgotten the issue!

If you are concerned about the issues, send email to CPUC at:
District 5 United eForm eMail  Simply click on the "eForm eMail" and you will get a page to fill out the information and specify the reason for your opposition to the SJWC 44% Rate Increase, Homeserv USA water pipe insurance and your opinion of SJWC Customer Service and your concern about lack of openness and transparency, as well as concerned that we are not being informed in a timely manner, of the status of the 44% Rate Increase!

You can also send an email to CPUC Public Advisopublic.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov  The Public Advisor will insure your email will be sent to all the appropriate CPUC staff members.

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