Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Gichon Nightmare Part One

Excitedly, I pulled out from my mailbox my first ever Gichon (water company) bill, with my name on it, in our new apartment.

I saved the special news for my husband, and greeted him with it at the door.

"Open it", I cried, waiting for the news about how much water cost us this month.

He peeled open the familiar blue and green envelope, interestingly made like all Israeli envelopes are, and looked at the name.

So far, so good- it was my name. That's thanks to heading all the way down to the Gichon offices in order to switch the name on the bill to our name, as we moved into our new apartment.

Then came the actual amount.

Let's be nice. I don't use that much water in 6 months, let alone in 10 days. And, with that wonderful old water tax added on for Machir 3 (The water in Israel is billed in a specific way. I will try to explain in another post.) we were in interplanetary orbit with the sum listed on our bill.

It must be some mistake. I was in shock. Husband was too. At this rate- oil, and for that matter, silver, would be less expensive than water.

We resolved, first thing, to call the water company the next morning, and try to resolve the bill.

Well, after 45 minutes of waiting on the phone line, I finally got them to admit it was a mistake.

After all, how could a young couple, with one child, use 40 cubes of water in 10 days! (See how severe that bill was!)

Now, I have to head down there and prove that it was a mistake.

Wish me luck- I'll keep you updated on this saga.


mekubal said...

Sorry to do this to you, but did you insist that they come out and read the meter before you moved in?

See they estimate water usage and only send out inspectors every so often... so if the their estimations were a little behind... well you are paying for it now.

nmf #7 said...

Mekubal- Should have, but didn't. Sigh.
At least they admitted that it couldn't be, and that it was a bad bill.
Now I have to get them to update their billing- and the only way to do that is to head down today.
Wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck nmf#7!!
Have you been monitoring water usage since you moved in: you could suggest that they follow the same rate as for a sample period of say a month?
B'hatzlacha rabba

Anonymous said...

Also - there may be a leak somewhere. You should check that out.

Anon1 said...

Also there may be a leak somewhere - you should check that out.

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

As they say Y'Hiyeh B'Seder :)

itsagift said...

Wow - hatzlacha!!
I'm sure it will all clear up in the end...
Is this the yessurim that comes along with living in Eretz Yisroel? Sigh.

Anonymous said...

In my old house, we had huge water bill, about $500 every 3 months, and my husband was just paying them. I finally realized what was going on and had the water company come down. Turns out the water meter was leaking, and the meter is their property, so it was their fault. Long story short, and I don't know how we made this happen, but we eventually got a refund of about $1,200. I'm sure we still paid for way more water than we used.

nmf #7 said...

Anon613- Thanks! I did that for this month, but we'll see...

Anon1- Checked. The only thing I could possibly find wrong might be something with my toilet...but nothing that would cause such a huge bill.

Dude with Hat- HAHA. You made me laugh. Yep, that's what they all say.

Itsagift- Nah, this is just basic bueracracy. All governments are like this, including the US.

Tesyaa- You're lucky they refunded it! (Even if it wasn't as much as they really owed you.) Because, I find, that even if it is their mixup, people are loathe to give away money.

Dude with hat (aka BTS) said...

nmf - I'm glad I did!