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KUA = Kissimmee Utilities Authority, Kissimmee, Florida Complaints & Reviews - Arbitrary amount added to bill.

KUA = Kissimmee Utilities Authority Contacts & Informations

KUA = Kissimmee Utilities Authority

Posted: 2011-01-26 by    Jarhead Klan

Arbitrary amount added to bill.

Complaint Rating:  100 % with 10 votes
Contact information:
KUA = Kissimmee Utilities Authority
Kissimmee, Florida
United States
I have been a customer of KAU since 1992. They bill me for electric and water together. My average bill is about $300/mo. A couple of months ago they (KUA) sent me a letter explaining how they had decided, after 18 years of uninterrupted services, I should give them an extra $500 on top of my bill so they can hold on to it just in case "I decide to run away without paying my last bill." I wouldn't see my money again until I closed the account (meter) for good. I was furious. I called KUA Customer Service and argued that this wasn't fair. They had just added an arbitrary amount ($500) to my bill and expected me to pay the whole thing by next month when my bill was due. All this during the worst economic recession in many years and while I was unemployed. As much as I disputed against paying this extra money, they would not budge. Either I payed or my electric & water would get disconnected soon. After many, many calls they finally agreed to put me on a payment plan. I clearly expressed to them how money was a bit tighter than usual in my home and asked them what would happen if, for any reason, I could not make the payment on time. The lady said: "Just make sure that you pay your bill", she went on to explain that I should try to pay as much as I could for the added deposit but that they would not disconnect as long as I had payed my bill. Well, little by little I have paid about $350 for the deposit. This month I paid my bill but could not pay more for the deposit. I called to let them know but they didn't care and threatened to disconnect even though I had payed my bill! What about: "we'll work with you"? What about the $350 on deposit already? Today they came and shut off my electric and water services even though I showed the worker the "Paid" on time receipt in my hand! He said: "Pay what you owe; $160." I did not "owe" this money. I guess paying for the electric & water I use is not enough anymore! Of course now they want, on top of everything, an extra $40 to reconnect. These people don't care that I have 2 kids in the house. They don't care that I payed my bill with the last few bucks I had in my bank acount. On a whim, they can imagine a number and make you pay that amount... or else. Why do they need this deposit after almost 20 years. Why must they have it now, right away or cut off service? It isn't like I could one day decide to go to a different company to purchase my water or my electricity. They are abusive and exploit their customers with their ever raising costs, their added-on-a-whim charges and deposits and their attitude of: "pay what we say you owe and not what you actually owe." There has to be someone that can regulate these people and their abusive tactics. Every time I talk to someone about what's been happening to me with KUA, literally everyone has a KUA horror story. Please help. Utility companies have great power for they are legal monopolies. With all this power comes great responsibilities but they have forgotten who they are working for. No one is watching so they are doing whatever they want. The ONLY way to make this people stop abusing their customers is exposing them. I beg; make KUA's unfair tactics public for everyone to see. Ask other customers. Tell my and the story of others and you will be helping this comunity a great lot. Thanks in advance for all your help and understanding but most of all, for just... caring.


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 26th of Jan, 2011 by   Shannon36535 +1 Votes
You should go to your local news channel with this or paper even and see if they would be willing to do a story about it. Betcha they have had more than one complaint.
 28th of Jan, 2011 by   Jarhead Klan +1 Votes
Thanks! Yes, I have already called a few local stations. I am just waiting on anyone interested in the story to contact me back. I filed a complaint with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and found out that mine is not the only complaint against KUA for the same type of thing. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
 18th of Mar, 2011 by   P&S +1 Votes
Just about the same thing happened to me I still haven't paid it. I have been fighting it. I went to a commissioners meeting and complained on Tuesday. I thought that bringing it up with Mayor Jim Swan could help but he sits on the KUA board of directors and voted for the extortion. It didn't do much good because a day later they issue a cut off notice. I owe them absolutely no money. I am paid up in full for all services they have provided, but on the 20th, a Sunday, my electric is scheduled to be turned off. I received the notice today a Thursday I have four days to pay or they shut of my electric and water. This is extortion.

This month I owed them $0.00 for services and without a cut off notice issued they attempted to cut my services. I was told I had another month before they would issue a shut off notice this time, giving me time to dispute this at the KUA board Meeting on the 6th of April by Susan Postans. Apparently she changed her mind.
I have been in contact with several news agencies there is interest but I am either going to have to have them over with my generators running or picket the office right now the press is eating protests up. So I figured I would lean that way and postpone the shut off.

I’m planning on posting something on sites like the Ripoffreport.com and others like this one and some political.
I have been a customer for 12 years and this is my thanks.

After disputing it they dropped it from their standard $500 to $180 I told them I would not pay so they added $100 now its $280.

There are many reasons for not paying an additional $500 in a deposit that you could potentially never get back. They are a Corporation they could go out of business and we will never see our deposits. A natural disaster could happen, it sounds a little out there but it could happen and there goes our deposits. But most of all I gave them a deposit 12 years ago and they gave it back.

They claim they lost 3 million dollars last year from people moving away and leaving them stuck with the last bill. So why are they so different from any other business/corporation and use a collection agency? I don’t feel you and I should have to bail them out. But they don’t need to be bailed out they made over 162 million. So when they make money hand over fist why should they be allowed to just take ours, their good customers, just because they want to reinvest it and make interest? I am sure the loss was written off on their corporate taxes. It seems they also could have filed an insurance claim.

Remember the storms 6 years ago? I was without power for 14 days while they refused to except outside help. After they announced on the news that every house in Kissimmee had their power restored my house and 5 others on my block sat without power. But that's a different story of how I was burned by KUA.

Besides it breaks the KUA code of ethics. Yes they have standards that they are supposed to keep. Along with the Florida state Statutes, Chapter 112, Part III http://www.ethics.state.fl.us/ethics/Chapter_112.html
This responsibility also includes compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees set forth in Florida Statutes, Chapter 112, Part III.

http://www.kua.com/ethics/

Declaration of Core Principles

Kissimmee Utility Authority recognizes that its services fulfill an imperative public need. KUA is dedicated to operating in an accountable, dependable and trustworthy manner while showing compassion and respect to all. Therefore, KUA's actions must meet the highest standards of integrity and honesty.

KUA shall achieve these standards while complying with all applicable laws and regulations. These principles shall be applied to all customers, business associates and employees.

General Statement and Guideline on Responsibilities

This Code of Ethics provides overall guidance in meeting our ethical obligations. It is incumbent upon KUA Board members and staff to accept personal responsibility for exercising good, sound judgment while meeting KUA's high ethical standards.

This responsibility includes familiarity with all of KUA's policies and procedures, including departmental, purchasing, travel and/or personnel policies and procedures, as they apply to each individual's functions and activities. This responsibility also includes compliance with all applicable laws and regulations including the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees set forth in Florida Statutes, Chapter 112, Part III.

Utilization of Ethics Compliance Counselor and Management

To facilitate compliance with this Code of Ethics, KUA has appointed an Ethics Compliance Counselor (see Personnel Manual). Consult with management or the Ethics Compliance Counselor (anonymously, if desired) when confronting an ethical dilemma or needing an answer to an ethics question.
 20th of Mar, 2011 by   Jarhead Klan 0 Votes
Thanks for sharing your experience. I knew I was not alone in this. I filed a complaint with the BBB but that didn't help at all. All they did was transfer communications between me and KUA, and anyone that has ever talked to anyone at KUA knows how futile that is. In those communications however KUA admitted that according to their manual they were only supposed to charge me an extra $460.00 instead of the $520.00 I had to pay but still no money would be returned to me or credited to my account. Another point I discussed was how I would not likely see this money for many, many years. I don't think that it would be fair that in, perhaps 20 or 30 years (if ever), I were to get the same $520.00 back after KUA gained all the interests from keeping my money in the bank or from investing it (along with millions of $'s from others). Maybe I am a dreamer. Why else would I expect a legal monopoly to ever be fair and just. There has to be a way to stop these companies from abusing the same people that they are supposed to take care of. Safety in numbers is very true. A lot more people have to get involved.
 20th of Mar, 2011 by   Jarhead Klan 0 Votes
It is true that the economy is bad... but it is bad for everyone not just for big companies. If they (KUA), that have millions and billions, are having a rough time, imagine what I am going through - I live from paycheck to paycheck. When I don't have enough to pay my bills I don't go to my next door neighbor and say: guess what, I"m short therefor you have to pay for me. I don't call me insurance and say guess what: instead of the $300 I promissed you you're only getting $100 this time. I have to pay all my bills, on time and down to the penny. Why does KUA gets to charge me the money they loss or didn't get from someone else??? Is that fair??? I don't think so!!!
 5th of Apr, 2011 by   Miss Sara 0 Votes
Come to the board meeting tomorrow, Wednesday April 6th at 3:30. it is at the kua building. I will be there to speak out against the extortion that kua is guilty of. If anyone else wants to show up that would be great. If we come together as a community and let them know that what they are trying to do to us is unacceptable, they are going to have to stop trying to extort the citizens of Kissimmee
 6th of Apr, 2011 by   Chris Chris 0 Votes
Last week I had to make a very hard decision Pay KUA an unwarranted deposit or get my power and water turned off. If I did that I would be forced to miss a mortgage payment. I chose to keep the lights on I am a single mother with children what am I supposed to do? I am now trying to play catch up. I am afraid that I will not be able to. Now along with the KUA late fee that they will not remove I have one from my mortgage company. After speaking with a representative for my mortgage on the phone they are willing to remove the late fee something KUA wouldn’t do. But at this point I do not have the lost money to pay them I am on very tight budget. Isn’t somebody from the city supposed to be looking out for us?
 6th of Apr, 2011 by   Peter 10 0 Votes
The problem isn’t that the corporation that is granted a monopoly by the city is ripping the consumers off. That is expected. It’s the kickbacks that Republican Mayor Jim Swan receives from KUA. He sits on the board of directors. He voted for and allowed this to happen to his constituents the people that voted for him. I am not mad at KUA they are just doing what corporations do, but I am really pissed at Swan he knows he is not elected to help commit fraud through extortion. I am finished arguing with KUA about it. I will be going after him. He should be removed from office according to the states statute 112.311. He should receive no benefits, no retirement, nothing from his time as mayor. Just disgrace.

Also if I am forced to pay with the threat of disconnection after my bill for power is paid. I will immediately be sewing for the money back with my time included and of course court costs. Both KUA and Kissimmee. This will cost them allot more than my second extorted deposit is worth to them. I think everybody should do this.
If we come together this should be easily taken care of. I paid my deposit many years ago and received it back. I still have the receipts to show it.

I am just going to personally sue them but this should turn into a class action lawsuit after enough people get together. Perhaps they think that the people are to broke to fight them I say that’s all the more reason to fight. Its corporations like KUA that have been allowed to cripple our economy. No power company is currently suffering at this time. They all show greater profits every year while the average American workers wage has been reduced. Shame on them.

Obviously we need more regulations and for Mayor Jim Swan to have done his job in the first place, but he didn’t he let us down but that seems to be the current trend in our elected officials.
 8th of Apr, 2011 by   Miss Sara 0 Votes
The KUA board meeting went well. Much better then the city commissioners meeting where Mayor Jim Swan defended his decision to vote for the deposit change that we consider extortion under the legal definition. It turns out that the Mayor never cared to get the facts right before he voted or he was purposely spreading misinformation at the commissioners meeting. He claimed that KUA had lost 3 Million in 2009. I corrected him at that time that KUA has never lost money.
At the KUA board meeting the president of KUA Jim Welsh seemed to take a genuine interest in what I had to say. Mayor Swan again tried to claim that KUA had a 3 million dollar loss in 2009. This time when Jim Welsh corrected him and informed him that KUA in its history has never shown a loss, he listened. I don’t think he liked what he heard but O-well. At the end of what I think was a good discussion with Jim Welsh and the rest of the board members (minus Mayor Swan he for some reason took this very personally which is suspicious in itself You could clearly see that he was flustered and angry with both me and Jim Welsh) a revision was put on the docket for the next board meeting to officially review and vote to hopefully change the current deposit situation.
This is what we need to do, we need to organize and get as many people as possible involved. In 30 days at the next board meeting I would like to round up 50 concerned consumers. Even if you never had to pay an additional deposit the changes KUA instituted affect all 64.000 some Kissimmee residence that KUA currently services.
Along with the higher deposit for new customers (which you now no longer get back) and the reinstating of a deposit on old customers that they have decided to be at risk of losing their home and moving away without paying there last bill. They have also increased the ways to fine and penalize customers.
For example I found out if they cut your power they will do it at 2 o’clock. If you pay them at 2:20 just 20 minutes after your power has been disconnected they will not turn your power back on until the following day as a punishment for your not paying unless you pay an additional amount over the charges they have already given you for the late payment, disconnect, reconnect fee etc.
This in my opinion is just as bad if not worse than the deposit. They are again extorting more money from people. If you don’t pay before 2 o’clock you have no power for up to 24 hours unless you pay more for them to restore it that day. Even though its only 2 o’clock you will receive an afterhours penalty for restoring power instead of them just wanting to get the power back up as fast as possible not just for your sake, the customers, but for theirs as well. If your power is off they can’t bill you for the consumption. This means they would prefer to make more off the fine and leave you the customer in the dark then make an honest buck of services rendered.
Again this seems to be in clear violation of their ethics statement. It also makes one assume that they must enjoy the power they seem to be able to wield over the people of Kissimmee. Why else would they want you to not consume their product and sit in the dark for a night after you have paid.
Of course they are going to say this is due to cutbacks that they don’t have a crew working nights but 2 o’clock isn’t after hours in my opinion and as we already established KUA is doing just fine. There revenues have increased over the course of the economic recession. In my opinion that’s the last few years.
But in KUA’s defense my power cut off was postponed for the third time until the day after the KUA board meeting it was set to be cut at off at 2 O’clock Thursday April 7 2011. After the meeting I went to a customer service representative and asked if my power was set to be cut off. I was told yes at 2 o’clock. I knew this. The following day I spoke to rep. and was told my name was not on the list of shut offs. I did not request them to remove it they did this on their own. I did tell them that I would be suing them the moment power was disconnected.
I see this as a sign that Jim Welsh did take me seriously and there is going to be a review of the current policies next month and as far as I am concerned all 67, 000 of us should show up to let them know that we are paying attention to what they do.

Update
Nope. I just received a phone call from Bud Ajdukovie, the “Sorry but NO” person who Jim Welsh had call me after the first time I spoke with him months ago. He was the person that told me my deposit would be $180 from $500 then raised it to $280 when he didn’t get his way. He informed me again that even though I owe them $0.00 sense again this month that he scheduled my electric and water to be shut off Monday even though the discussion for deposit policy is up for review and potential change and or do away with it at the next board meeting Wednesday may 4th at 3:30.
 9th of Apr, 2011 by   Miss Sara 0 Votes
Hello again. I was asked by a reporter to start an official blog sight for the deposit issue. I think she is planning on gathering information from it. Please feel free to share your story or opinion on it. This is my first blog so if you have advice on blogging feel free to share that as well.

http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/

Sorry about the last post it didn't copy over well from word. The gibberish you see is supposed to be " ' :.

For example 'the “Sorry but NO” person' is supposed to be 'the sorry but NO' person and 2 O’clock is supposed to be 2 o'clock.

You may have to copy and paste this in your Browser if this site does not except links.

http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/


 12th of Apr, 2011 by   Miss Sara 0 Votes
There are quite a few complaints right now on complaint sites like this one. It’s great that we are able to get our stories out there but we need to make it news. Currently there are four sites right now making KUA’s deposit and fine techniques news. If you would please retell your story by pasting it in the comments you can even use a link back to your original post.
Please check them out and share your story. Soon they will page rank well in a Google news search and larger local news corporations will pick up on it.
My newly created news site (I registered it with Google news it will take a few days for Google to recognize it.) on Google Blogger http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/
West Orlando News Online- http://westorlandonews.com/2011/04/11/kua-kissimmee-mayor-rip-off-utility-customers/ this site deserves your post along with KSIB they would really appreciate the participation. They will also be the reason the larger news companies will pick up on it. Don’t worry if a larger news site picks it up they will write their own version of it off the information you provide by posting. Orlando is also home to our larger news organizations making it a good place to get the word out.
KSIB- Representing Osceola County locals since 1995 http://ksib.net/index.php/Citizens_the_Voice This is the place for locals, that’s all 67, 000 KUA customers and a great place for local Politics.
Facebook blog- “Like it” if you like facebook.http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissimmee-Fight-the-Power/141818669221916 Facebook is a huge social networking site.
These are the four addresses again in case this site will not allow links. The other sites will.
http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/
http://ksib.net/index.php/Citizens_the_Voice
http://westorlandonews.com/2011/04/11/kua-kissimmee-mayor-rip-off-utility-customers/
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissimmee-Fight-the-Power/141818669221916
It’s up to you and me. As you may or may not know KUA is not regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission. They are self Governed by their Board of directors. They are about to elect a new member.
The best thing you can do is come down to the KUA board meeting. It was put on the docket to further discuss the issue and possibly make changes to the deposit policy at the next board meeting where concerned citizens are encouraged to come and express their thoughts and opinions on the matter. The next KUA board meeting is May 4th, 3:30 at the KUA building 1701 W. Carroll St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741.
You can also speak your mind at the next commissioners meeting, to Mayor Jim Swan and commissioner Cheryl Grieb, who voted along with disgraced former commissioner Carlos Irizary last year to allow KUA to continue to self govern themselves. Art Otero and Jerry Gemskie voted against it. The Kissimmee City Commission meets the first and third Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the City Hall Commission Chambers, located at 101 N. Church Street, Kissimmee, Florida.
The next meeting should be April 19th but times, dates and agendas are subject to change. For current meeting information, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at 407.518.2313
 12th of Apr, 2011 by   Miss Sara 0 Votes
This is my last post here so I hope it copies over better than the last one, the rest of the sites that I have posted on don't mess up a post copied out of word and you can edit:
There are quite a few complaints right now on complaint sites like this one. It’s great that we are able to get our stories out there but we need to make it news. Currently there are four sites right now making KUA’s deposit and fine techniques news. If you would please retell your story by pasting it in the comments you can even use a link back to your original post.

Please check them out and share your story. Soon they will page rank well in a Google news search and larger local news corporations will pick up on it.

My newly created news site (I registered it with Google news it will take a few days for Google to recognize it.) on Google Blogger http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/

West Orlando News Online- http://westorlandonews.com/2011/04/11/kua-kissimmee-mayor-rip-off-utility-customers/ this site deserves your post along with KSIB they would really appreciate the participation. They will also be the reason the larger news companies will pick up on it. Don’t worry if a larger news site picks it up they will write their own version of it off the information you provide by posting. Orlando is also home to our larger news organizations making it a good place to get the word out.

KSIB- Representing Osceola County locals since 1995 http://ksib.net/index.php/Citizens_the_Voice This is the place for locals, that’s all 67, 000 KUA customers and a great place for local Politics.

Facebook blog- “Like it” if you like facebook.http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissimmee-Fight-the-Power/141818669221916 Facebook is a huge social networking site.

These are the four addresses again in case this site will not allow links. The other sites will.

http://kissimmee-fight-the-power.blogspot.com/

http://ksib.net/index.php/Citizens_the_Voice

http://westorlandonews.com/2011/04/11/kua-kissimmee-mayor-rip-off-utility-customers/

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kissimmee-Fight-the-Power/141818669221916

It’s up to you and me. As you may or may not know KUA is not regulated by the Florida Public Service Commission. They are self Governed by their Board of directors. They are about to elect a new member.

The best thing you can do is come down to the KUA board meeting. It was put on the docket to further discuss the issue and possibly make changes to the deposit policy at the next board meeting where concerned citizens are encouraged to come and express their thoughts and opinions on the matter. The next KUA board meeting is May 4th, 3:30 at the KUA building 1701 W. Carroll St. Kissimmee, Florida 34741.

You can also speak your mind at the next commissioners meeting, to Mayor Jim Swan and commissioner Cheryl Grieb, who voted along with disgraced former commissioner Carlos Irizary last year to allow KUA to continue to self govern themselves. Art Otero and Jerry Gemskie voted against it. The Kissimmee City Commission meets the first and third Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. at the City Hall Commission Chambers, located at 101 N. Church Street, Kissimmee, Florida.

The next meeting should be April 19th but times, dates and agendas are subject to change. For current meeting information, please contact the Office of the City Clerk at 407.518.2313

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