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Old 03-05-2011, 12:09 PM
 
14 posts, read 52,104 times
Reputation: 13

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Question about MLGW Fees

Hi. I just moved to Memphis and received my first utility bill yesterday. I live near Bartlett. The post office lists my address as Bartlett, but I believe my part of the city was annexed by Memphis. The apartment complex buys its water and sewer services from Bartlett and pays a separate company for trash pick-up. Then they use a company called NWP (I think that’s the name) to bill the residents for their share of the cost of these services.

Here’s the problem. On my first bill from MLGW, I have charges for Sewer, Storm Water, and Solid Waste. I have to wait until Monday to call and have the City explain it to me. But, I’m wondering why I would pay Memphis and Bartlett (Bartlett by way of the apartment complex) for the same services. And on the MLGW bill under sewer, it says 0 usage. So, has anyone else experienced this? I’ve talked to two other people this morning who live in two different apartment complexes where they pay the complex for water/sewer services and they say they’ve been receiving a bill from Memphis for the same services as well.

I would appreciate anyone else’s insight in regards to this matter. It sounds like Memphis is billing us for services we’re not receiving and we’re paying twice for the services.

City of Memphis
Sewer Charge
Usage 0
$8.85

City of Memphis
Solid Waste Fee
$12.02

City of Memphis
Storm Water fee
$1.65

Shelby County
Mosquito/Rodent Control Fee
$0.75
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:33 PM
 
550 posts, read 565,777 times
Reputation: 199
They gouge big time and the meter readers lie constantly about taking readings. Calling "customer service" is pointless. All you will get is more lies and lots of attitude from overpaid operators.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:19 PM
 
Location: East Memphis
845 posts, read 2,387,662 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80sKid View Post
They gouge big time and the meter readers lie constantly about taking readings. Calling "customer service" is pointless. All you will get is more lies and lots of attitude from overpaid operators.

This is not entirely true. I use to think this about mlgw as well, until I learned how to read my meter. I check my meters once a week and every month I compare my mlgw bill to my readings and they are always dead even. MLGW will estimate when they can not get to your meter, but this will even out when they are finally able to read your meter. I think most people who complain about mlgw have no idea of how much energy they use and how their usage affects their bill. Customer service is a bit sketchy, but if you demand good service you will get it.
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Old 03-06-2011, 08:56 PM
 
550 posts, read 565,777 times
Reputation: 199
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigertate View Post
Customer service is a bit sketchy, but if you demand good service you will get it.
This was true at one point in US history. But the general consensus with MLGW is that the customer service is horrendous.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:19 AM
 
Location: East Memphis
845 posts, read 2,387,662 times
Reputation: 453
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80sKid View Post
This was true at one point in US history. But the general consensus with MLGW is that the customer service is horrendous.
I have had good and bad experiences with MLGW customer service. The hardest part is getting past the initial system/people who answer the phones. If you can get to a real person in a particular department (i.e. electricity, water, gas) they are usually very helpful. I was having a problem with my water meter one time and I had the hardest time actually talking to someone from the water department to address my issue. Once I finally raised enough hell to talk to a real person, they were extremely helpful and took care of my issue very quickly.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:17 AM
 
14 posts, read 52,104 times
Reputation: 13
Cool Question about MLGW Fees (update)

OK. Here’s the update. I spoke with the City of Memphis about the charges. It turns out that the charge for the sewer services goes to the apartment complex to offset sewer fees. Years ago, apartment complexes in the city signed up for a program to let the city bill tenants 8.85 for sewer if the complex didn’t have separate water meters for each unit and the City would then give the money to the owner in the form of a credit to offset sewer charges. This complex doesn’t even buy its water from the City of Memphis (sewer charges are based on water usage). The owner has apparently decided to keep the credit coming while also charging the tenants separately for sewer fees through NWP (i.e., double dipping). This was not explained when I signed the lease and I doubt the resident manager even understands it.

As for the solid waste fee; the City/MLGW collects the money and pays it to the private company that picks up the trash for the apartment complex. Unfortunately, the complex also bills the tenants a small fee for trash pick-up through NWP as well. So, it sounds like the owner(s) has found a way to double dip while misleading the tenants on what it really costs to live here.

I considered whether/what the apartment charged for utilities when selecting an apartment here. It looks like I have to adjust the cost for utilities by the extra fees that the complex is collecting through the City/MLGW on top of what they separately collect through NWP. But, I was definitely misled.
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Old 03-07-2011, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Virginia Beach
522 posts, read 1,757,623 times
Reputation: 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensisco View Post
OK. Here’s the update. I spoke with the City of Memphis about the charges. It turns out that the charge for the sewer services goes to the apartment complex to offset sewer fees. Years ago, apartment complexes in the city signed up for a program to let the city bill tenants 8.85 for sewer if the complex didn’t have separate water meters for each unit and the City would then give the money to the owner in the form of a credit to offset sewer charges. This complex doesn’t even buy its water from the City of Memphis (sewer charges are based on water usage). The owner has apparently decided to keep the credit coming while also charging the tenants separately for sewer fees through NWP (i.e., double dipping). This was not explained when I signed the lease and I doubt the resident manager even understands it.

As for the solid waste fee; the City/MLGW collects the money and pays it to the private company that picks up the trash for the apartment complex. Unfortunately, the complex also bills the tenants a small fee for trash pick-up through NWP as well. So, it sounds like the owner(s) has found a way to double dip while misleading the tenants on what it really costs to live here.

I considered whether/what the apartment charged for utilities when selecting an apartment here. It looks like I have to adjust the cost for utilities by the extra fees that the complex is collecting through the City/MLGW on top of what they separately collect through NWP. But, I was definitely misled.
Not cool. Can you dispute those charges, or does the contract cover that you have to pay these fees?
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Old 03-07-2011, 03:42 PM
 
32 posts, read 112,740 times
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Would it be appropriate to post which apartment complex this is happening at? I might be moving to the Bartlett area and this information would be helpful. If you're uncomfortable posting it, maybe a quick PM?

Thanks.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:40 PM
 
1,703 posts, read 6,004,577 times
Reputation: 939
Quote:
Originally Posted by bensisco View Post
OK. Here’s the update. I spoke with the City of Memphis about the charges. It turns out that the charge for the sewer services goes to the apartment complex to offset sewer fees. Years ago, apartment complexes in the city signed up for a program to let the city bill tenants 8.85 for sewer if the complex didn’t have separate water meters for each unit and the City would then give the money to the owner in the form of a credit to offset sewer charges. This complex doesn’t even buy its water from the City of Memphis (sewer charges are based on water usage). The owner has apparently decided to keep the credit coming while also charging the tenants separately for sewer fees through NWP (i.e., double dipping). This was not explained when I signed the lease and I doubt the resident manager even understands it.

As for the solid waste fee; the City/MLGW collects the money and pays it to the private company that picks up the trash for the apartment complex. Unfortunately, the complex also bills the tenants a small fee for trash pick-up through NWP as well. So, it sounds like the owner(s) has found a way to double dip while misleading the tenants on what it really costs to live here.

I considered whether/what the apartment charged for utilities when selecting an apartment here. It looks like I have to adjust the cost for utilities by the extra fees that the complex is collecting through the City/MLGW on top of what they separately collect through NWP. But, I was definitely misled.
That's terrible. I lived in an apartment complex in Nashville that had a similar racket going. The apartment manager had made all sorts of agreements with third-party companies, which resulted in terribly high water, trash, and electric bills for tenants.

My only advice: Keep your usage low and dispute any and everything that looks suspicious.
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Old 03-07-2011, 10:59 PM
 
14 posts, read 52,104 times
Reputation: 13
Smile Question about MLGW Fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcmotort View Post
Not cool. Can you dispute those charges, or does the contract cover that you have to pay these fees?
The manager stated she was unaware that the City was collecting these fees on behalf of the complex and would look into it. I’m not sure how much faith I have in her doing so, or her being able to do anything about it. But, I’m waiting on my first bill from NWP before deciding my next move. I only signed a 6 month lease, so at least I don’t have to stay and put up with it if I don’t want to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikellen View Post
Would it be appropriate to post which apartment complex this is happening at? I might be moving to the Bartlett area and this information would be helpful. If you're uncomfortable posting it, maybe a quick PM?

Thanks.
Rather than post the name of the complex, I would suggest the following. If the complex you’re considering tells you they are going to charge you for utilities, contact the City of Memphis with an address for those complexes you’re considering and they will tell you if they are going to charge you as well (I'll PM you the numbers for Sewer and Solid Waste Fee inquiries). As I mentioned earlier, I talked with people at two other complexes being billed similarly. So, it's not just this complex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by strumpeace View Post
That's terrible. I lived in an apartment complex in Nashville that had a similar racket going. The apartment manager had made all sorts of agreements with third-party companies, which resulted in terribly high water, trash, and electric bills for tenants.

My only advice: Keep your usage low and dispute any and everything that looks suspicious.
Thanks for the advice everyone.
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