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ONLY ON 3: Customer says CFPUA trying to charge for disconnected line


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has had its share of problems since it started in 2008. Problems that won't seem to go away. One customer says she's being charged for a service she does not receive.

Stephanie Bell says she woke up Tuesday morning with a disconnect notice from the CFPUA, but the meter it was turning off has not been connected for years.

"He said he was here to disconnect, but there wasn't anything to disconnect because the water was already turned off," Bell said.

Bell began renting both sides of her duplex home about seven years ago, and had the water converted to one line for the entire house. She says the City of Wilmington disconnected the other hook-up years before the CFPUA even existed.

"We didn't have any problem," Bell said. "City of Wilmington wasn't an issue. Cape Fear Public (Utility) Authority takes over, and some time earlier this year, we started hearing something about, 'Oh, you owe money.'"

Now that CFPUA is responsible for the connection, Bell has received mixed messages about payment. She says she the authority told her she will be charged for the connection even if it's not working, because it is located on the property.

CFPUA CEO Matt Jordan said he couldn't specifically discuss her account, but he said Bell should call the Authority's customer service to fix her problem.

"That's something we pride ourself on is our customer service," Jordan said. "It's what we're there for, to assist anyone that has a question or a concern. We're here to help them resolve those."

But Bell has already done that, and when she did, she says customer service was not helpful.

"I was threatened at that point," she said. "I was told they could come and arrest me for damaging personal property, and I'm like, 'Hold on. Wait a minute. This wasn't even under your venue. It was under the City of Wilmington, and they had no problem, so what's the problem?'"

Bell plans to attend the CFPUA meeting tomorrow morning to further address her problems.

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I had an issue with paying

I had an issue with paying my bill. I dropped my payment in the dropbox at the Government Center location on the day it was due. When I received my next bill, there was a carry forward charge that I didn't understand. When I called, I was told it was a late charge. I explained that I dropped my payment in the drop box on September 22, the day it was due. The lady I spoke to said they did not receive the payment until September 29 and that the box was checked every day. So, my guess is that my bill sat on someone's desk for an entire week. Luckily, she was able to remove the late charge because this was the first time I had requested them to do so. I e-mailed a complaint to them over a month ago and have yet to hear anything.

No wonder they want the City of Wilmington to pay

for collections! I really hope Brian Berger gets in on their board meetings, these people are seriously in need of some common sense management assistance.


Just like government, they won't let the facts stand in the way of getting what they want.

Commissioners, can you

Commissioners, can you please do away with this nightmare known as CFPUA. How on earth can you charge someone for a disconnected water line? Isn't that like charging you for a credit card you don't have? The poor, poor business practices of this company never ceases to amaze me.

our "GREAT" water company

Just add chaulk this one up to our "wonderful" water company.

I always love to hear CEO Matt Jordan try to talk his way out of all their mistakes... He tells the woman to call the customer service line.. now that is the best joke I have heard in a very long time. Has he ever tried to call and not use his name... and really get help from his customer service dept. maybe that is exactly what he should do...

I have tried within the past 3 months, all of the sudden I have another name on my bill but it's my address. NO one there can tell me what happened. All they tell me is to wait until the next bill and guess what it comes in the same way. Now my question to them is are they sure that it's my meter they are reading. Maybe thats why I have a bill over 350.00 every month?
all I can say is that the customer service dept. can't seem to figure it out.. (month after month)

Ok Matt I'll call customer service and they will handle it.. Yeah right.. oh by the way Matt do you want to buy a bridge ?


I had the same thing happen on property they do not serve. I got a bill every day for service that is not available. It took 3 phone calls, that did not work, and 2 visits. Nobody knows what happened. I asked how many other people are getting bills and maybe paying them, because they think they should, the reply. THAT COULDN'T HAPPEN.

Unable to disconnect

In 2009 I lost my job and also my home. When I made the decision to allow my home to go into foreclosure I was current with all my utilities. At this same time I had to relocate. I called and was successful in disconnecting my gas (which had a meter) my electric (which had a meter) my cable, and my phone. HOWEVER, when I called CFPUA to have my water turned off (I had drained the hotwater heater), I was told that until the home was in someone else's name I would NOT be allowed to disconnect the water and would have to pay the min. monthly fee. Seriously! Two years later the bank sold this property. This year CFPUA leined my NC tax return and deducted almost 700.00 for a service I had not used since May of 2009 and there was NO water to the home! The said they do this because there is a meter on the property! Power company and gas company didn't have a problem with this! FURTHER, the bank owned the property and IF any monies were to be collected it should have been from them. How is it that all my bills were paid to all my utility providers, and everyone else "allowed" me to disconnect my service, but CFPUA wouldn't? That's the damnest thing I have ever heard of in my life. I have asked them to show me where legally they have the right to do this. I have a conference call with them this coming Weds. morning. Really!