Turn to Tara helps family resolve outrageous water bill
A Westchester family had a major case of "water woes" after they received an outrageously high water bill. Their search for answers fell flat until the Turn to Tara team got involved and delivered results.
Like many people, Mark Piselli has reluctantly gotten used to heftier price tags on just about everything these days. But he was totally unprepared when his water bill came in at $4,830 – a far cry from the $70 to $100 bill that he says he typically receives from the town of Mount Pleasant Water Department. "I was totally shocked. At first, I thought it was a mistake," says Piselli.
The Valhalla exterminator says he was billed for enough water to fill about 25 swimming pools, which is odd since there is no pool to be found in his backyard. The mystery water bill also threatened hefty late fees. "They are looking to charge me $240 a month. To me, it's a disaster. I'm a middle-class guy. We live week to week."
Piselli and his family were desperately trying to fight the bill and filed an appeal, which got them nowhere. "It's nerve-wracking. I have no updates from anybody. No one will return our calls."
He decided to Turn to Tara. "I've seen you handle things like this before. I'm like – you know what? Let me try reaching out to Tara."
The Turn to Tara team quickly got to work and got results two weeks later.
"Without your help, they wouldn't have called for sure," he says.
Water department officials blamed the problem on a broken meter that resulted in them only charging the Pisellis an "estimated" amount of water usage for several years.
Once the meter was fixed, they attempted to recover the shortfalls - resulting in the astronomically high bill.
So, what should people do if they get socked with serious sticker shock like the Pisellis?
Here's some simple tips to take to fight the bill:
- Stay on top of your own water usage and check your meter each month.
- Ask the water company to reread your meter. It's within your rights.
- Most municipalities have provisions that allow for one credit adjustment a year for larger-than-normal bills.
- Financial assistance is available in many places, for seniors and families in need.
If you've got a problem you want Tara to look into, click here.