Customer Service

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option
  • CUSTOMER PROBLEM AND COMPLAINT PROCEDURE
  • NSF CHECKS AND FEES
  • RECONNECTIONS
  • WATER BILL ADJUSTMENTS

  • Customer Problem and Complaint Procedure

    The following customer complaint procedure offers a reasonable assurance against erroneous customer bills.

    Customer service clerks shall handle all customer account inquiries, problems and complaints. Every effort will be made by the clerks to resolve account problems.

    If the customer insists on speaking to the supervisor, the clerk shall forward the call to the senior billing clerk along with all information and backup documentation such as work orders and history printouts pertaining to the customer's account complaint or problem. If the customer still feels an error exists, arrangements shall be made for a conference with the utility billing coordinator. If the customer still feels an error exists, arrangements will be made for a conference with the utility billing coordinator or the senior billing clerk and the director.

    Customer Service Activities – Bill Payments

    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Net by due date
    Office, payment depository, mail, online payments, third-party telephone
    Partial payment
    Office, payment depository, mail, online payments, third-party telephone
    Previous balance
    Office, payment depository, mail, online payments, third-party telephone
    Gross amount
    Office, payment depository, mail, online payments, third-party telephone
    NSF payments
    Office, payment depository, mail
    Customer Service Activities – Work Orders
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Discontinue service *
    Office, payment depository, telephone, mail, local fax
    Transfer deposit *
    Office, payment depository, mail
    Open new service *
    Office, payment depository, mail
    Check for leak
    Office, telephone, local fax
    Turn meters off / on for repairs
    Office, telephone, local fax
    New installations
    Office, Planning and Zoning
    Customer Service Activities – Customer Inquiries
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Amount / due date bill
    Office, telephone, local fax
    High bill complaints
    Office, telephone, mail, local fax
    Amount to prevent lock; L/O date
    Office, telephone, local fax
    Verify payment
    Office, telephone, local fax
    Pay extension request
    Office, telephone, mail, local fax
    Billing question
    Office, telephone, mail, local fax
    Copy of history
    Office, mail, local fax
    Miscellaneous complaints
    Office, telephone, mail, local fax
    Customer Service Activities – Lock-Offs
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Payment / reconnect
    Office, payment depository, mail, third party telephone (customer must call office with confirmation number to be reopened)
    Customer Service Activities – Leak Adjustment
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Form must be signed
    Office
    Customer Service Activities – Due Date Extensions
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Form must be signed
    Office
    Customer Service Activities – Transfer Deposit to Another Customer **
    ACTIVITY
    METHOD
    Form must be signed
    Office
    * Arrangements can be made over the phone, if planned ahead, for customers to mail or put required information and forms in the payment depositories along with the required payment,
    ** Must have signed statements from both parties. 


    NSF Checks and Fees

    A $30 fee will be charged on all NSF and "closed account" checks returned from the bank. Checks marked "account closed" shall be locked off without prior notice.

    If an account is locked of for non-payment of a NSF check, the customer must pay the amount of the check plus the $30 NSF fee plus the $30 reconnect before service can be restored. If the NSF check is not paid, the full check amount plus all applicable fees will be charged to the customer's account and taken out of the customer's meter deposit, if necessary.

    There shall be no call-outs after office hours to open meters that are locked off for non-payment of NSF checks. To have service restored on the same day, payment must be received by 4 p.m. on the lock-off day and by 3:30 p.m. on other days.


    Reconnections
    Lock Off Policies
    Waterworks is obligated by Ordinance 91-7-7, Water Revenue Bond, Series 1991, Article IX, Section 902 that if a bill and the penalty charges remain unpaid form the date on which it became delinquent, waterworks will shut off water service to the affected premises until all bill charges, penalty fees and reconnection fees are paid.

     

    The water supply shall be disconnected (locked off) from any premises for all accounts that are more than one month delinquent. To avoid lock off, all unpaid balances (except penalty charges) from the prior bill must be paid before the lock off date.

    Once locked off, water shall not be turned on except upon the payment of the entire balance due and payment of a $30 reconnection fee.

    There shall be no call-outs after office hours to open meters that are locked off for non-payment of a bill. To have service restored on the same day, payment must be received by 4 p.m. on lock off day and by 3:30 p.m. on other days. Meter readers are not bonded to carry money and shall not collect for bills on the road.

    Damage Liability
    Waterworks will not be responsible for any physical or property damages incurred due to failure, turning off, discontinuation, turning on or reconnecting of water service effective Nov. 13, 1984.

    Uncollected Customer Balances and Bad Debts

    All bad debts are logged on computer. When a customer comes in to open or transfer an account, the name and address is checked to verify if a past due balance is owed. If a balance is owed, the customer must pay the outstanding balance before another service is opened.

    Collection Procedures for Bills Remaining Unpaid 30 Days After Service is Disconnected for Non-Payment of Bill

    • Contractors / Developers: A reminder is sent to the contractor or developer notifying them that the bill must be paid in 10 days. If the account remains unpaid after the 10-day period, notice is sent to the Planning and Zoning Department. Contractors and developers will be denied issuance of permits until delinquent balance is paid.
    • Parish Employees: A reminder ID sent to the employee notifying them that the bill must be paid in 30 days. If the account remains unpaid after the 30 day period, notice is sent to the parish attorney for collection.
    • Customers with Another Open Account: A reminder is sent to the customer notifying them that the bill must be paid in 30 days. If the account remains unpaid after the 30 day period, the unpaid balance is transferred to the open account.
    • Customers without Another Open Account: A reminder is sent to the customer notifying them that the bill must be paid in 30 days. If the account remains unpaid after the 30 day period, a letter of collection is sent to the customer notifying them that the bill must be paid in 10 days or the account will be turned over to the parish attorney for collection.


    Water Bill Adjustments
    Payments will be adjusted for high water bills caused by leakage. The customer must fill out a "water bill adjustment" form stating that the high bill(s) was caused by a leak, date the leak was repaired and the name of the person that repaired the leak, effective Nov. 9, 1990. 

    Only one leak will be adjusted per calendar year, and only two months will be considered for adjustments.

    The adjustment shall be calculated as follows:

    • High bill consumption
      2 - [average (5 previous bills)] = consumption credit (gallons)
      Consumption credit x current rate = Water adjustment (credit) dollar amount.
    • Water adjustment (credit) dollar amount x current sales tax percentage = Sales tax adjustment
    • Customer pays high bill - water and sales tax adjustments dollar amounts
    • A claim for a water bill adjustment must be made within 30 days of the due date

    Water Bill Extended Payment Policy
    Payments will be extended for high water bills caused by leakage. The customer must fill out a leakage declaration form stating that the high bill was caused by a leak, date the leak was repaired and the name of the person that repaired the leak, effective Jan. 13, 1987.

    • Only bills over twice the average water consumption (in gallons) will be considered.
    • Calculate the number of months that payments can be extended as follows:
      • Total high bill ($)
      • Average bill ($) = Number of payments not to exceed six

    A minimum average bill (dollars) must be paid. The balance is to be paid in the number of payments calculated above in approximately equal monthly payments not to exceed six.

    Both the regular water bill and extended payments must be paid on schedule, or water service will be disconnected. If service is disconnected, the full balance plus a reconnect fee must be paid to reopen the service.

    Only one extended payment per 12 months will be allowed.

    Water Bill Due Date Extension

    Customers with limited incomes (on Social Security or disability and are able to provide proof) can apply for an exemption from penalty charges by completing a "water bill due date extension" form. All applications must be approved by the director, utility billing coordinator or the senior billing clerk, effective March 1994.

    The customer will not be charged a penalty fee. When the application is received, the billing clerk must attach proof of disability or that the customer is on Social Security to the form. The form is submitted to the senior billing clerk for approval. After the application is approved, the billing clerk must change the appropriate penalty exempt code on the computer(s) for that customer. The customer will still be subject to receipt of a past due notice and lock-off if the bill is not paid.

    Free viewers are required for some of the attached documents.
    They can be downloaded by clicking on the icons below.

    Acrobat Reader Flash Player QuickTime Windows Media Player Microsoft Silverlight Word Viewer Excel Viewer PowerPoint Viewer