Friday, October 1, 2010

Daily Ponderings.. Another fine day of home ownership adventures...

Yesterday (Thursday), I go up to check the mail. Fort Worth has our neighborhood setup to a central mailbox drop for the convenience of the mail carrier and mine is two doors up. So I go get the mail and I am walking back to the house, opening my water bill as I go. I step off the retaining wall about the time I notice that my water bill is 94.00. WTH?? It is only me living here. I don't have a sprinkler system. DAMN! SPLASH!. HUH??? Oh no... and that's when I notice that my side yard is a spongy lake. Not just a little wet.. No! No wonder my beautiful oak tree did so well this year.. ughh.. Ok, where is the water coming from? I notice that it is drier, closer to the house. Hmm.. so I turn back towards the meter box and the retaining wall and that is when I see it. There is literally water running out of the meter box.

Now my meter box has that HEAVY metal lid on it so I have to go get a screw driver to lift it off of there. Jeez... yep, it is full of water and mud. Crap! It is so full I cannot even turn the water off because I cannot find the turn off. Ok. Go call the city water department, so much for customer service.

The phone was answered by an obviously black woman. No big deal.. except she could care less about her job or my leak and was in no hurry to do ANYTHING.. twice on hold, she finally comes back and tells me that they will call me to set an appt.

Me: "REALLY? An appt?"

Her: "You obviously don't have water gushing down the street and your water pressure isn't affected so it isn't considered an emergency. They will call you and set your appt. tomorrow."

UGH! So I ask her that once the leak is fixed, how do I go about getting my bill adjusted?

Her: "We aren't going to adjust your bill. Your responsible for the full amount."

Me: "If that leak is inside that meter box, I don't think so."

Her: "The City of Fort Worth is not going to adjust your little bill because of a minor leak and if I send someone out and they find the leak is on your side of the meter, you will be responsible for repairs."

Me: "Your not serious?"

Her: "Hmphh"

Me: "Let me explain something to you.. First and foremost, when I get done with your supervisor, about your piss poor customer service and attitude, I will get my bill reduced. It is up to you which news channel I call to get this resolved?"

Her: "Have a nice day." click she hangs up..

I could describe the words that came out of my mouth at that point but if you know me? I don't have to.

I then called back and got a very sweet, very helpful, customer service rep on the phone and she made sure that the field supervisor would be here first thing this morning. BLESS YOU! She also made sure that the customer service supervisor was aware of the previous call... Thank you.

I call in and take the day off because who knows how long all this is going to take.

It wasn't long after 9 am that I noted a water dept truck out front so I went out to meet the guy. He had just finished pumping the water out of the box when I got there and I looked down and knew right away, this was going to be all mine to deal with.. Now mine is a shared meter box with my neighbor and the water guys told me that it wasn't all mine.. Yes I did have a leak but so did my neighbor. Hmm... ok, so we go get the neighbor and we are talking with the wife. He explains how we both have leaks and told us that he DID NOT recommend us using the city service to fix it as it would be VERY expensive. That was nice of him.. I talked to the neighbor and they were about to head out of town and if I wanted to get some estimates, then we might just split the bill. Even better!

I called my wonderful AC guy to ask for a referral for a good plumber and he gave me the name of one. I called and YIKES! Not only did he not do FREE estimates but it was 375.00 for leak detection and just to show up! Uhhh NO! that isn't happening. So I head over to the website because I have seen the commercials on tv. I immediately find a plumber that does free estimates AND he can be right over. Nice.

He gets there and he locates the leak and gives me an estimate for my side. 275.00 if we dig it, 500.00 if he does.. OUCH. Jeez.. The neighbors husband comes out to ask what was going on? He was waiting on the city to come by because he called them yesterday because he had a leak.. Umm yep, we know and your wife (who is standing right there) has already talked to me and the city guy.. That's why we are getting estimates? He just nods and smiles... this is not very promising.. The plumber looks up at him and informs him that he does have a leak but it isn't anywhere near the meter box. It appears he might have either a slab leak or line leak under his driveway.. 1500.00+ dollars to start with...

Ummm no offense but we aren't splitting this bill!

The plumber leaves and I call the boyfriend to inform him. He decides to come up and have a look. When he gets there, he decides he will dig it and save the extra money. God love him. :-)

He dug it and man that was an eye opener. Another rigged issue from the previous owner.. We called the plumber and he came right back out and took care of it. He was even nice enough to drop the bill by another 25.00 AND gave me a warranty. Nice!

Well if you made it this far, thank you for your interest... Talk to you later..

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