‘Overcharge’ due to plumbing defects, Maynilad hints

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This is in reference to Fernando S. Menina’s letter titled “Maynilad’s overcharge defies common sense” (Inquirer, 4/11/13). Menina appealed for Maynilad to immediately address his complaint regarding his water bill.

In the interest of fairness and accuracy, we would like to clarify that after Menina was billed P64,593.75 on Dec. 6, 2011, we immediately took note of his case and scheduled a technical evaluation of his water meter.

We wanted to make sure that the 1,005 cubic-meter reading of his water meter was accurate, because it was way beyond the normal consumption of an average residential customer.

On Dec. 10, 2011, we pulled out his water meter for testing and replaced it with a new one on the same day.

We completed the testing of Menina’s meter on Dec. 13, and found it to be accurate. Consequently, we advised him that the billing for the disputed water volume had to be settled accordingly. In a September 2012 discussion with Menina, we also offered him a staggered bill payment scheme of 12 months. To date, Menina has not contacted us regarding our staggered payment offer.

While we understand Menina’s frustration over the abnormally high volume of water that was registered by his water meter, we cannot be held accountable for it since we have no jurisdiction over his home plumbing and fixtures, which are often the cause of dramatic increases in water consumption.

Our responsibility is to make sure that he and his family receive safe, sufficient water supply that is accurately measured by a meter.

We would also like to clarify that Menina’s P9,106.84 billing on Jan. 5, 2012, was not due to an error in meter reading, but a lapse in our data management system. This complaint has already been resolved, and we have taken the necessary steps to prevent a recurrence of such an incident.

Specifically, we did system and business process audits last year to facilitate the upgrading of our IT infrastructure this year. We will be rolling out our enhanced workflow management system in the coming weeks, to further improve our customer service delivery capabilities.

We have done our best to resolve this complaint in a prompt, fair and considerate manner. And we will continue to do so until we reach a reasonable arrangement with Menina.

—CHERUBIM O. MOJICA,

head, Corporate Communications,

Maynilad Water Services Inc., Quezon City

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