NWC customer billed for neighbour’s water usage

Tell Claudienne

Claudienne Edwards

Sunday, August 12, 2012    

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Dear Claudienne,

I live in Rose Hall, St James and I am having a problem with the National Water Commission (NWC).

For months I have been concerned about my monthly water bills. My fiancée and I live alone and on average our water bill comes to between $2,600-$2,800, yet my neighbour who has five family members consistently gets a lower bill than I do.

The June bill came to $3,980.55 and to my horror I went online and saw that the July bill had jumped to $6,356.18. I immediately called my plumber and he came and checked all the pipes but did not find any leaks.

On June 26, I went to the NWC office on Lower Bevin Ave in Montego Bay and spoke to a customer service representative. I asked her how one determined if the meter was faulty. She said, if when I got home and checked the meter, the reading was less than the reading on the current bill, then there might be a problem with the meter. When I got home and checked the meter, the reading was 527 litres. However, the actual reading on the July 7, 2012 bill was 585 litres. I then went in search of my bills from March 2012 and closely scrutinised them. On the April 2012 bill I found that the NWC’s ‘Actual” reading was 585 liters, only four litres less than the reading on my meter on June 26, 2012. The May 7, 2012 bill shows an “actual” reading of 538 litres, five litres less than my reading on June 27, 2012. The July 7, 2012 has an “actual reading” of 585 litres, or 37 litres more than my June 28 2012 bill.

I have concluded that the NWC is overcharging me.

Could you kindly help me to fix this problem.


Dear KF

The NWC has advised Tell Claudienne that an investigation was done at your premises and the source of the problem was identified.

Apparently there was a mixup with the meters resulting in you being billed for your neigbhours’ water usage.

Please go back to the NWC Bevin Avenue office and speak to the area manager who will tell you what to do. The NWC said that it will take some time for this matter to be resolved.

Good luck.

Dear Claudienne,

In December 2011 I visited the Courts Montego Bay Fair View Branch and explained that my company was giving me the option of taking my bonus in Courts vouchers or cash, hence I was there to see if they had anything that I wanted.

I decided on a recliner and LED 31-inch TV that I told the sales clerk I was not sure would fit in my TV stand. However, the 31 inch TV did not fit my TV stand but I spoke to the sales clerk who promised to get a 25- inch TV from the Barnett Street branch. He took my name and cell number and promised to contact me when it arrived.

When I did not hear from him I went to the store four days later where he told me that there was a problem with them so none were available.

The sales clerk was unhelpful and dismissive and it did not appear to matter to him that I had over $50,000 of my bonus tied up with the company.

Eventually it was another agent who went on her computer and in under seven minutes was able to source the TV and confirm a delivery date to the store, something the other clerk was unable or unwilling to do in over 12 days.

I have informed Courts by letter that I was dissatisfied with the customer service from the particular clerk and I was promised a written apology from him.

However to date I have not received it.

Could you kindly check with them for me.


Dear DL

Tell Claudienne spoke to the Consumer Charter manager at Courts. She said that in keeping with the company’s policy on receiving your complaint the regional manager was dispatched to see you and apologise on behalf of Courts. The Consumer Charter manager said that she also has apologised to you on behalf of the company. She said that any personal matter between you and the particular clerk must be dealt with as a personal matter. In any event she said that the clerk you complained about no longer works with the company.

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company? Telephone 936- 9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail:



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