(SNO) – The Water and Sewerage Company Inc. (WASCO) has launched an investigation into the issuance of high water bills to a customer in Reduit, Gros Islet.
WASCO Communication and Marketing Officer Cherry Ann Williams made the disclosure to HTS in a news report.
According to the report, Juliette Jn Baptiste, also known as Madame Sequin, complained about receiving water bills ranging from $600 to close to $1,000 for her residence, even though her guest house has been closed for the past 11 years.
The Reduit resident compared those bills to her monthly utility bills which average about $60.
Jn Baptiste told HTS: “I have been going to WASCO and crying… begging them to find out… why am I getting that kind of bill from them and the business is closed, and they can investigate it. It’s long that business is closed. Might be they not listening to me, but is true. I am going and paying the bill, they giving me time to pay it. I paying all the bill, yet still the place is still closed. Sometime in January, February, I get a bill for six, five hundred and something dollars. I go to them and I tell them the place closed, might be the meter have a problem. They tell me if the meter have a problem, and I still getting water in my pipe, I must be stealing water somewhere else. I say there is no place around this area for me to steal people water, and you insulting me.”
She added: “I went with the bill to them again. I paid the cheque, they tell me I give them a bounce cheque. I didn’t give them a bounce cheque. That day I was sick. I went in the office, I paid $640-something on a cheque. I tell the lady I cannot well see, I did an operation in my eye, can she write the cheque for me. She write it wrong. The place she had to put the money, she put it another place, and the name of WASCO, she put it another place, so the cheque go back to them. Then she tell me I have to pay $50 because the cheque come back. I say why. I will have to go to the bank to see what going on. When I go to the bank, I take statement and thing like that, I see the money come out from my account. I still go back and I pay a $601.40 something for WASCO again for the same month, and they still complaining, they come and cut the water.”
According to HTS, Jn Baptiste claimed that she had even been threatened with arrest.
“When they come here and cut the water, the pipes were closed. The meter is closed, my pipe is closed. Nobody not using water there. When I come to clean the place, I have water in the drum. Rain water that’s what I does use. And God seeing I talking the truth. May the blood of Jesus come down, is the truth I telling WASCO. Please, I doh want to have their money, I doh want to steal them, but do something for me please, because I need help. They have been stealing me for a long while, and they saying is I, I’m the stealer. I never steal nobody. I am working for the poor. I am not a rich person, I am trying.”
The company had told HTS that while they investigate Jn Baptiste’s complaint, other customers with similar issues are to visit the company’s offices.