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What can I do about Polk County Utilities overcharging me for water?

Lakeland, FL |

I have lived in my current home since 2007. My water bill runs $15 to $20 each month. Last month it was $386! They said I could check for leaks and get an audit. I hired a contractor and was told I have no leaks, and the meter was not running when no water was on. I also paid the utility company $75 for an audit, which shows I used the water. There is no way. This month my bill is $608. I cannot pay this. They do not respond to my emails now. Is there anything I can do?

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Filed under: Small claims court
Attorney answers 1


This is outrageous. You've already done more than most consumers would have to do before the utility would correct its mistake. I would suggest that you call their customer service / billing line, explain the problem and what you've done. If they can't (or won't) take care of the problem, then ask to talk with a supervisor. If that doesn't work, then you should take it to the elected officials who are in charge of the utility. If that still doesn't solve the problem, then there are two options: either get the news media involved (if there's a consumer reporter at a local tv station, they love stuff like this) or talk to a local lawyer about your options. [I'm not a Florida attorney and don't know if you can take the county utility to small claims court - which you could do yourself - or if you would have to sue them in a civil court. I also don't think the Public Service Commission has any jurisdiction over a county utility, but a local lawyer could double-check that for you, too.]



Oh I have called/emailed them! They told me I could get an audit and charged me $75 for three pieces of paper that show my water usage. I emailed them again today asking for someone to come and check the meter because it is malfunctioning. I am waiting for an answer now, but I doubt they will. Thank you for your suggestion about the newspaper. Yes, they will jump on it for sure!

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