Today is not the first time that I've had trouble with the City of Phoenix. No, about 10 years ago, when I was one of the pioneers off online bill paying, I inadvertently sent them my house payment. They said nothing, but the following month, when bills came, it showed a $1900 credit on my account. That's when the light bulb lit over my head and I thought to check to see if my house payment had been made and it had not! I guess while in the passion of the moment, I clicked in the wrong spot and paid for a 3 year supply of water. It took me about 6 months to get them to refund it, by the way.
Today, using the mail for an excuse to get out and go for a short walk, I meandered down the street to absorb a few vitamins from the sunshine, it was a gorgeous day. Oh, the water bill, OK... When I got home, I opened the bill and noticed it was for about $233. I immediately thought, that's got to be a mistake. How could I use that much water in this little place? That's when I investigated further and saw it said to pay $156 today to avoid an interruption in my service, WHAT? Probably due to boredom, I pay my bills now when they arrive, usually the same day. How could I be in arrears with the infamous crooks at the City of Phoenix? I dialed their number 602 262-6251, I've got it memorized. You would too after dialing it for about 2 hours and getting a repeated busy signal. Finally a message giving me the option to hear the menu in Spanish, but I chose number 1 for English. Fifteen minutes listening to their version of jazz music, the same song over and over with a little gay voice reminding me to locate how to turn off my toilet if it leaks! DUH!!!
Finally Rosa answered and I almost cried! I was sooo happy to speak with ANYONE that I was overwhelmed. I told her of my plight and she asked me my old address and then my new one. After hold for about 3 minutes, she came back and told me that my old account holds a $156 credit and my new account is $156 in arrears. I said, DUH Rosa, what can we do? It turns out the problem once again is mine. When I moved, I should have changed my account number on my bill pay. I was sending the money for my new location to the account of my old location and now Rosa is going to apply for the adjustment. I asked how long that might take and she thought about 6 to 8 weeks, if it's approved? What about them turning off my water? Rosa said, "Oh, they're gonna turn it off"!
So once again, the City of Phoenix, strong-armed me into paying them extra money. Oh, by the way, their office closes at 1 PM on weekdays now, due to having to eliminate staff.