Water Company Bills Elderly Woman over $2,000; She is Forced to Sell her Home
When a water company billed 91-year old Eleanor Sochanski $2,167.02, she lost her home.
A typical result of privatizing our water
The absurdity of water privatization becomes crystal clear when example after example of egregious overcharging surfaces in the media. The case of 91-year old Eleanor Sochanski of Camden, New Jersey is typical. Earlier this year she received a quarterly bill from United Water Company for $2,167.02, although her usual bill never amounted to more than sixty dollars. The water she was billed for could have filled an Olympic sized swimming pool and then some, but Ms. Sochanski has no pool. She hasn't even got a garden. United Water came out and checked for leaks, but found none. Incredibly, they insisted the charges were accurate, although the next quarter her bill was back to normal. When Sochanski was unable to pay the bill, a lien was placed on her home and it was sold in June.
As for their part, United Water has continuously denied requests for comment or explanation, and it turns out they do not have to disclose any information about their billing practices.
Not an isolated case
Several other instances of gross overcharging by for-profit water companies have also surfaced recently. In Carmel Valley, California, the California-American Water Company charged Toni Ray $9,800 dollars on a monthly bill in September, 2011. Toni's typical bill amounted to around forty dollars, but Cal-Am insisted their billing was correct. After a protracted battle, Cal-Am agreed to reduce Ms. Ray's bill to $2,300 out of "goodwill".
In Middletown, New Jersey, earlier this year, Joe Pezzano had his water completely shut off by the New Jersey American Water Company over an apparent overdue balance of eighty-four cents.. The water company eventually blamed the shut-off on a computer error, but they would not waive the re-connection fee they charged Mr. Pezzano.
These are just three cases of thousands where private, for-profit water companies grossly overcharge customers on a daily basis in this country.
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