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A $17,000 water bill? Common sense should tell the DWP that isn't right

A $17,000 water bill? Common sense should tell the DWP that isn't right
Northridge resident Velma Matthews, 74, received a bill from the DWP for the amount of $16,988.62. (Los Angeles Times)

To the editor: Common sense should tell the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power that a household without a history of huge bills could not possibly incur $12,836.31 in bi-monthly charges. To add insult to injury, the DWP demanded payment from Velma Matthews or service would be cut off. (“Her $16,988.62 DWP bill sent this retired teacher to the emergency room,” Oct. 5)

After this 74-year-old woman spoke to several agents, she received another bill for $16,988.62, which caused dangerously high blood pressure and resulted in a trip to the emergency room.

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This is not a common occurrence, and it is about time that the DWP sets up a system that would transfer inquiries like this to someone who has the authority to address errors. The DWP should take action immediately.

Judy R. Martin, Los Angeles

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To the editor: We accept deficiencies from the DWP that would never be acceptable from any other service provider.

My husband and I moved into our home in September 2015. The next January, it was discovered that our water meter was broken. We were then presented with a water bill for $1,100, for the billing period of 2015, for a house that was vacant for the first nine months.

We sent the DWP proof of our move-in date and asked for our bill to be altered accordingly. We were told that we must first pay the entire bill upfront and that DWP would credit us what it finds to be appropriate.

We are still waiting for that credit. Our city councilman's office informed us that as customers, no additional avenues are available to us. Once we (hopefully) receive our credit, we can then use our revised 2015 water bill to apply for a credit for the sewer charge, which will mean another lengthy wait.

Clearly, the DWP is so poorly managed that the various departments cannot interface to solve problems. I understand that it makes more sense for utilities to be monopolies, but we should still expect decent customer service.

Cherie Shore, Los Feliz

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