PASCO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) – Pasco County water customers continue to complain of high bills and no answers.
Our 8 On Your Side investigation led to an inspectors general audit that revealed systematic overbilling. Hundreds of customers stepped forward to complain and county commission even passed a new ordinance to help lower bills. They hired consultants and gave utilities a spring deadline to clean up this mess.
But so far, customers are still unhappy. And even more are stepping forward with issues.
Lula Kavouklis says she used to watch our 8 On Your Side investigations into water problems and felt sorry for the customers. Then her bills started rising, too. Her normal bill used to be around $35, and now it is more than $100. She has spent hours waiting on hold and pleading for help from Pasco County Utilities.
“What are we going to do?” she asked. “People need water.”
Doug Tobin, the spokesman for Pasco County government, told 8 On Your Side he asked customer service to take another look at Kavouklis’ bill. As for the overall problem, he sent this statement:
“In the last two weeks, the County Administrator also asked Dr. Marc Bellas (Director, Office of Strategy & Performance Development) to revamp the Pasco Utility Customer Service Center and will be looking at their processes to improve customer satisfaction. One of his goals is to change the approach of customer service, to help customers understand their water bill and decide if the bill is a result of a Utility error or some other issue.
“As an example, Pasco Utilities also recently added four new employees to our Customer Service Center, which is expected to help improve our ability to help Pasco County Utility customers. Pasco County Utilities is working to resolve the water bills regarding the 361 individuals identified in the Inspector General’s report.”