Buckeye woman has water woes with EPCOR

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- Lisa Marie Hollis knows the importance of water. She also knows the importance of paying her water bill. In fact, she has a formula for getting all of her bills paid on time.

"First check of the month goes to pay my car payment and insurance and the second check I pay all of the utilities," she said.

Hollis pays her bills online and that's where she recently paid her March water bill for $147.10. The payment went to Arizona American Water. However, the company was purchased by another company called EPCOR right around the same time she sent in her payment.

It shouldn't have been a problem, until Hollis got her next water bill.

"At the top of the bill, there was a past due balance -- $147.10," she said.

But Hollis clearly paid that bill. Her bank statement shows $147.10 left her account. So, she called EPCOR, which told her that accounts were still merging after buying out the other water company, so don't worry.

"I asked if I needed to send in my bank statement and they said, 'No, we don't need that right now. We have it under control,'" Hollis said.

But it was far from being under control because Hollis was sent a shut-off notice saying she was delinquent and the only option was to send in another payment for $147.10.

3 On Your Side contacted EPCOR and they agreed to cancel Hollis' water shut-off date while they investigated. They eventually discovered that Hollis did in fact pay $147.10 and was never delinquent like they thought.

As a result, EPCOR corrected her account and said Hollis should not have any more billing problems.

EPCOR says they have a few other customers with similar complaints because of the transition and they are working on resolving those.

Below is EPCOR's company undedited statement:

Gary,
 
Thank you very much for spending time with me on the phone this morning and I hope that I answered all of your questions regarding this cutomer's account. Our Customer Care team has reached out to this customer to let her know that her account has been credited for the amount in question and to thank her for her patience during the transition.
 
EPCOR Water completed the acquisition of American Water's Arizona assets and operations on January 31, 2012 and, in mid-March, billing and customer care transitioned completely to EPCOR Water. At EPCOR Water, our customers and the experience and the service they receive is important to us. Of course, we recognize that a transition of this scale takes time and we are working quickly to address any concerns and answer any questions our customers may have.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional questions or inquiries, and we are pleased that we could quickly resolve this customer's concern.
 
Best, Rebecca
 
Rebecca Stenholm
Director, Public & Government Affairs
EPCOR Water