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Some Water Customers Feel They Are Getting Soaked

Reported: Feb. 18, 2014 11:20 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 19, 2014 9:09 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Rick Lord) -- Jimmy Tate is mad that the water company is charging him to flush their system. "I'm paying and all my neighbors are paying to clean that line for them," says Tate.

Many others feel Tate's frustration after getting a higher-than-normal water bill in a month where they barely used any water at all. Some are even considering not paying their bill. But that's something not advised by those who look after consumers. "If (customers are) not happy with the response they are getting from the water company," says Public Service Commission Consumer Advocacy Director Jackie Roberts, "they need to file a complaint with the commission to get to the bottom of it."

And those already upset with their water bill might be even angrier next year, with West Virginia American Water likely to ask for another rate increase. They have a history of doing so whenever eligible. This time, though, it might be a bad move for a company already dealing with a trust issue from their consumers. "They have a public perception problem, and I think that would exacerbate it," says Roberts.



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