Saturday, December 01, 2007

Beware the City of Portland

Okay, so it's not the whole city, it's the City of Portland Water Bureau.
On Thursday, November 29th, I received a notice from them that my payment was overdue.  The postmark on the envelope is November 26th even though the "printed on" date for the notice is November 21st.  It must take them quite a while to get things in the mail. The due date on the reminder is November 28th for service billed through October 11th.  October 11th?  I was out of town on vacation then, and it's likely that the bill got lost in the slew of mail I had waiting for me when I returned.  Okay, I accept the $0.47 "Water Late Carrying Charge" and the $1.22 "Sewer Late Carrying Charge, as well as the $5.00 "Reminder Letter" charge.  I was late, after all.

Considering I got the notice on November 29th, and it's tough to pay a bill before you get it, I figured we'd send them a check this weekend and all would be fine.  Oh, no.  It's not to be.  Today, December 1, I receive an shutoff notice from them with a "Pre-shut off notice" fee of $10.00.  The print date on it is November 28th.  So they printed this shut off notice before I even got the first notice.

A couple of years ago, Solimar Systems installed a new high-speed printing system that was supposed to take care of the horrible delays in the billing system for the Water Bureau.  It evidently works very well, generating lots of income for the Bureau in the form of shut of notice charges that are seemingly unavoidable.  Well, except by paying your bills on time.

Note to self: don't trifle with the City of Portland Water Bureau.

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