Friday, 28 October 2011

Fun with city hall




For the most part, the City of Ottawa does a pretty good job of running things.

For the most part.

But the city's water and sewer department is, in my opinion, a disaster. We don't run out of water and the sewer in my neighborhood is never found spewing stink all over the street. And there's always enough water to make sure your house doesn't burn down.

I'm talking about its billing department.

Yesterday, I got my water bill and I opened it with trepidation. That's because the cost of water delivery has soared over the last year. I've said to Scott, more than once, that we shouldn't have to pay this much for water when we don't have a washer or a dishwasher.

So imagine my surprise when the water bill wasn't a bill at all. It was a statement which said "credit balance -- do not pay".

It seems we've overpaid our water bill by $163.87.

That's a lot of overpayment.

This happened to me a few years ago, when the water department sent me a bill for $350. I knew there was no way on Earth we could have used that much water, even with Scott handwatering our tiny postage stamp front yard.

I decided to fight it.

The water department basically said "screw you". Pay up or else.

They accused us of having a leaky toilet and suggested we get in a pumber for another couple hundred bucks. Scott checked the toilets which were all in good order.

I contacted my Councillor, Peter Hume, who is obviously scared of the water department. He said he could do nothing.

Reluctantly, I paid the bill and forgot about it.

About three months later, I opened my bill and it stated that I had a $350 credit. Ooopsy!

When I got the bill yesterday, I texted Scott, who said we should ask for that money back. We're not rich people. $167 is a lot of moolah to us.

I'm not going to bother.

I won't have a water bill for the next two months.

Caching!

Can't fight city hall, right?

Dickheads.

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