ALERT – If you have not already read the latest mail from the water company which was your bill payable in June plus the letter from them, please read them immediately.
Please be advised that our for-profit water company, Illinois American Water, made a mistake on their part by not charging the full amount that they were authorized to charge us for the wastewater charge over the past twelve months. They discovered their error in their own bookkeeping methods a year later. Now they want us to make up for their error by charging us retroactively for their mistake.
Can you imagine if you bought something and a year later that merchant sends you a bill and asks for more money because he had originally given you the wrong price? That he made this discovery one whole year later, but now insists that you pay him the difference right now. Would you be willing to just fork over that difference in what you were told to pay versus what his bookkeeper finds out one year later? Of course not! And neither should we.
This was not due to any action, fraud or any other misdeed on our part. This was their own internal business negligence of an extremely large and wealthy for-profit utility!
Then to compound it, they slip it in, one whole year’s worth of back charges into the current billing statement that is due only a few weeks of receipt of that bill! And to top it off, anyone who does not read the bill and is set up for auto debit payments from their checking account, will automatically have the entire amount of that additional $202.48 deducted from their checking account in one fell swoop. That is unless they jump through hoops to call, and call, and call the water company to arrange to pay it in installments.
We’re not talking about chump change either. This is over $200 worth of additional charges to each homeowner.
We have already contacted the Illinois Commerce Commission and the Citizens Utility Board to address this situation, and have not received a response from them yet.
We all should also contact state representative Sandy Pihos and others including the Illinois Commerce Commission, the Citizens Utility Board, the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald. And please note, this does not affect just our Butterfield East subdivision. The so called Valley View service district includes a good number of other surrounding subdivisions in the unincorporated area. All of the ones that are along Butterfield Road, Route 53 and Park. I believe this area encompasses the areas to the north, south, east and west of these roads. We need to try to contact these areas and try to join forces with them to fight this improper practice. We have already contacted a few members of the Lincoln Hill and the Valley View subdivisions and they have confirmed that they had received the very same notice from Illinois American Water. Those members have also said that they are joining together to fight alongside of us to battle this inappropriate business practice.
Obviously it is difficult at best to fight against rate increases. But them making us pay for their own errors in billing of a complete year just doesn’t seem right. I realize that many homeowners will just pay it without question, but we have to stand up for ourselves, our rights and our money.
Be advised that your Board of Directors of the Butterfield Homeowners Association is working very hard to fight this. But we need your support to fight this battle. Please contact Illinois American Water and tell them that you believe this is inappropriate to charge us each over $200 to cover their own error. In our subdivision alone, this amounts to over $170,000!
Please stand up and fight! We need each of you to contact the ICC, CUB, State Representative Sandy Pihos, and any other elected officials that might be able to influence our cause. Contact the Chicago Tribune and the Daily Herald to tell them about this situation. In order to win this battle we need all of your support.
Illinois American Water: 800-422-2782
Karla Olson Teasley, President ILAW: firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens Utility Board: 800-669-5556
Illinois Commerce Commission: 800-524-0795
Representative Sandy Pihos: 630-858-8855
Chicago Tribune: 800-874-2863
Daily Herald: 847-427-4300