James Hunter

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

SJWC is overcharging it's Customers!

Recently SJWC submitted an Advice Letter # 498 and I have several issues with this rate change. Basically the added charge started almost two months early.

Is it a simple billing error or is it something that has happened before? It cost the 225,000 home owners roughly an apparent overcharge of as much as $400,000, this time.

The cover sheet states that the effective date is January 1, 2017. This blogger has to ask if SJWC accounting and IT have a calendar?

The current system of Advise Letters provides 20 days from SJWC filing with CPUC, to the close of protests. Is this adequate time for consumers to effectively protest? From the time the customer gets the bill and realizes a charge increased is likely about 14 days, which in most customer cases, in this instance, they will have lost the opportunity, since the Protest Deadline was December 5, 2016. The blogger got the bill with the apparent early billing, on about January 15, 2017. Assume the customer tries and spends several hours, over several days, trying to figure out how much they should have been charged, the convenient 20 day period has long passed. Then be told that unless they file a formal complaint, an interesting challenge since it may require a trip to CPUC on most customers work day, as well as filing in accordance with CPUC Regulations.

Let's look at what we can "Protest" in the Advice Letter 498, based on the 6 specific grounds that a customer "could"  protest on, if the customer was able to do so. The typical customer would miss the Deadline by as much as 30 days, there is no single basis for a protest that says they "started billing me almost two months before they should", in legalese.

The next step is to file a complaint there are informal and formal complaints, since this wasn't protested, or it might have been, but that doesn't become a public record, Oops! You should also note that this is typically not something either ORA or the CPUC Water Division are looking at and make the assumption that SJWC will manage their customer billing properly.

So that leaves filing a formal complaint, especially since this may not be the only instance early billing has been made, erroneously billing SJWC customers. This blogger thinks it's really time to audit if the effective dates of increases in charges are accurately showed in customer bills!

Please take a moment and:

Sign the "Outrageous Water Bills" petition at http://www.change.org 

If you have valid grounds for a complaint go to
http://www.sjwfacts.weebly.com  and click on File Complaint

No comments:

Post a Comment