Posts Tagged ‘customer service’January 15, 2013
Effective January 1, 2013, Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) began providing total service to approximately 465 Polk County Rural Water District #1 customers. DMWW will perform the activities of meter reading, billing, payment processing and general customer service. In addition, DMWW will begin maintaining water distribution system and providing field customer service, including water sampling, leak detection, locate services, meter repair and replacement, meter reading equipment repair and replacement, service termination, and service turn-on. DMWW welcomes its new service customers and is proud to deliver water you can trust for life.Labels: customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Polk County Posted in Customer Service, Customers January 10, 2013
Des Moines Water Works is implementing new meter reading technology in our Pleasant Hill service area. Currently, meter readers walk Pleasant Hill neighborhoods and collect reads manually from meter reading devices located on the exterior of your home or business. In January, we will be kicking off a project to install “fixed base radio frequency” for Pleasant Hill customers. This technology eliminates any manual intervention in collecting meter reads and creates a more efficient reading and billing process.
In addition to being more efficient, utilizing this technology will also bring enormous benefits to you. You will be able to access your meter reads online at www.dmww.com and/or set up a consumption alert that will advise you when your consumption has exceeded a set number of gallons specified by you. This will help you detect leaks, running toilets, or a garden hose left running as it occurs, saving you the unwelcome surprise of a high bill. In addition, DMWW will be able to monitor for situations of water running continuously at a property (the sign of a potential leak), allowing us to proactively contact you to make you aware of a possible leak.
The project will begin in January and will continue throughout 2013 in phases. Because we may need access to your meter, you will receive a letter asking you to call Des Moines Water Works to schedule an appointment. We look forward to bringing you more robust technology with features that will help you better manage your water usage.Labels: customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, Pleasant Hil Posted in Customer Service, Customers December 27, 2012
When you look at your monthly billing statement from Des Moines Water Works (DMWW), you may notice there are several charges detailed on your statement that aren’t for water. The City of Des Moines and other communities directly served by Des Moines Water Works contract with DMWW to provide billing services for important services those communities provide. Below is a summary of what you may see on your statement:
Water – The current water charges are just that – the amount of water used in the billing period times the water rate. Our meters in most service areas register in cubic feet, which is a little more difficult to “imagine” than gallons. There are about 7.5 gallons in one cubic foot. If you want to know how many gallons you used, multiply your water usage shown near the bottom of your statement (in cubic feet) by 7.5. For example, if your statement shows you used 700 cubic feet, you used about 5,250 gallons of water. In the City of Des Moines, you pay about the same price for 1,000 gallons of water as you do for one gallon of milk! And the water is delivered straight to your tap – you don’t have to run to the store!
Water Availability – Water availability is a flat monthly fee, regardless of the amount of water you use. Water availability covers fixed costs that don’t vary by the amount of water you use – things like reading your meter and generating monthly statement, having customer service available to answer questions, etc.
Sewer – Like the water charge, sewer charges are also based on the amount of water consumed, but using a separate sewer rate. In households, water from your faucets goes down your drain, therefore you are benefiting from the sewer system. This waste water must be treated prior to being placed back in the rivers, and your sewer rate covers the costs to collect, transport and treat your waste water.
Sewer Customer Service Charge – This charge is similar to the water availability charge for water and covers fixed costs related to sewer service.
Solid Waste and Curb It – This is a flat monthly fee for garbage removal and recycling pick up if municipal pick up is provided. These fees are not optional, even if you do not recycle, for example. The fee is based on the number of containers at your property.
Stormwater – Most communities are served by a stormwater system – drains in the street that collect rain water run-off and allow you to navigate safely around town. Everyone shares in paying for this service if your community has a stormwater utility. Because pavement causes run-off, stormwater charges are higher the more pavement you have. Stormwater charges are a flat monthly fee, generally based on the size of your lot, driveway, and buildings.
Rates for these services vary by service area and can be found at http://www.dmww.com/customer-service/rates-service-areas/. If you have any questions about your billing statement, please call (515) 283-8760 between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday to speak with a Customer Service Representative.
DES MOINES, Iowa (July 24, 2012) – Des Moines Water Works, with cooperation from metro suburbs, have implemented stage 1 of a water conservation plan. The objective of stage 1 of the conservation plan is to reduce water usage by 10 percent. The primary focus in achieving reduced usage is in the amount of water being used to irrigate turf and lawns.
Des Moines Water Works pumped a record 95.64 million gallons of water on Monday. The previous record of 92 million gallons was set in June 2006. In addition to record pumpage which is stressing some area water facilities with lower pressure, water quality of source waters is creating treatment issues.
“We are asking resident and business customers throughout the metro area, including our suburban communities, to voluntarily cease irrigation and let their lawns go dormant,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager, Des Moines Water Works. “Municipal golf courses have been asked to reduce their irrigation water.”
If there is some compelling reason an owner cannot shut down their irrigation system, it is requested that they lower the volume of water used by reducing the amount of time the system runs, and do so on odd/even days. For example, if your address ends in 1, 3, 5, etc., lawn watering is acceptable on odd days of the month and vice-versa for even addresses.
Watering of gardens and flower beds may continue under the stage 1 of the conservation plan, but reduced levels are requested.
Other “wise water use” measures that make good sense in these hot dry times which are outlined in the plan are:
- Wash dishes and laundry when you have full loads
- Don’t leave water running if you wash a car at home
- Don’t use water to hose down sidewalks and driveways, use a broom instead
- Consider taking shorter showers
- Don’t leave water running when brushing your teeth or shaving
“These wise water use measures make good sense to do year-round, but the primary factor that will lower water demand is reduced lawn irrigation,” said Beavers.
There are some decorative lawn and turf areas around the metro area that are not addressed under stage 1, but just like golf courses, it is requested that those systems be operated and managed to reduce water use where possible.
Stage 1 will stay in effect until the weather pattern changes so that water demand drops below 80 million gallons of use daily. Further stages of the conservation plan will be considered if the drought persists such that a water shortage is forecast. Further stages of the plan would call for a 30 percent usage reduction by residential customers and 10 percent by business and industry.
“We are asking for the public’s assistance in achieving this 10% voluntary reduction, which will help keep our water tanks full and water pressures elevated,” said Beavers.
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) strives to deliver programs and options that are valued by our customers. Two of the biggest concerns we hear from residential customers relate to leaks in service lines and inoperable stop boxes. Customers are responsible for maintaining their water service line, including the stop box, and when a service line or stop box needs repaired, the cost to repair is often significant and unexpected. For many customers, this can be devastating to the family budget.
To provide customers an option, Des Moines Water Works has recently requested proposals from service providers to offer a service line warranty program to our customers. DMWW has committed to performing all the due diligence to ensure the program is cost-effective, offers full coverage without “small print exclusions,” and is overall, in our customers’ best interests.
We would like to invite residential customers to participate in a Customer Advisory Council to review DMWW’s recommended provider and program and provide feedback. The time commitment is approximately one hour. If interested, please email Amy Kahler, Director of Customer Service and Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Take this opportunity to help shape an important program for Des Moines Water Works’ customers!Labels: customer advisor council, customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, stop box Posted in Customer Service, Customers April 9, 2012
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) understands the crime of stealing someone’s personal identifying information for the purpose of using that information fraudulently is concerning. To ensure DMWW customer’s personal information is safe, we worked with other drinking water utilities in the state to pass legislation to protect your personal identity. Senate File 2058 was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. The legislation allows DMWW to keep information “identifying a specific customer and any record of a customer account, including internet-based customer account information” confidential.
Protect yourself from identity theft by:
- Shredding all of your important papers.
- Making sure you do not throw anything away that someone could use to get your personal information.
- Being careful at ATM’s and using phone cards to protect against people who can get access to your pin number.
- Having all of checks delivered to your bank – not at your home address.
- Not putting checks in the mail from your home mailbox.
- When you order a new credit card or your previous card has expired, keep track of the time and contact the credit card company if it does not show up within the appropriate time.
- Put passwords on all of your accounts.
- Memorize your social security number and passwords so you are not carrying them with you.
- Make a list of all your credit card and bank account numbers with customer service phone numbers, and keep it in a safe place.
Des Moines Water Works listened to customer suggestions for more functionality to online customer account information. A new customer account feature now available at www.dmww.com is consumption alerts. Don’t be surprised by a high water bill anymore. Customers now have the ability to set a daily consumption threshold. If your daily consumption exceeds that on any given day, an automated alert will be sent to an e-mail account you provide.
To set up a new consumption alert:
- Log in to your Des Moines Water Works account at www.dmww.com
- Select the Account Services tab and then select Consumption Alerts
- Select the meter you would like to be alerted
- Check to select either Gallons or Cubic Feet (DMWW bills in cubic feet, but many people find it more natural to think in terms of gallons)
- After reviewing your last bill statement and the average daily recommendations listed as a guide, enter in your daily consumption threshold and click Save
- The new consumption alert will be listed below
- Changes to the alert can be made at any time by deleting your existing alert and creating a new one.
We encourage customers to save money and save water by taking advantage of the consumption alert feature now available. Too many times, customers don’t notice a leaking toilet until they open their water bill and find that it has doubled or even tripled its normal amount. The new alert feature allows customers to be notified as the leak is occurring and promptly correct it, avoiding wasted water and the surprise of a large bill.
If you have questions about setting up a consumption alert, contact Des Moines Water Works at 283-8700.Labels: Consumption Alerts, customer service, Des Moines Water Works, Des Moines waterworks, DMWW, water conservation Posted in Conservation, Customer Service, Customers February 3, 2012
Des Moines area residents may recently have received a letter from HomeServe, a company offering water service line coverage. Although Des Moines Water Works believes such a service could be of value to our customers and we are, in fact, in the process of creating a program that we could recommend to our customers, Des Moines Water Works does not endorse HomeServe at this time and did not provide any customer information to the company.
The letter correctly states the property owner is responsible for the water service line from the main to your home or business, which includes the stopbox. Leaks in the service line or an inoperable stopbox can be expensive to repair, which is why DMWW is researching solutions for customers who wish to protect themselves from the risks associated with their water service line. In our research, we have found most plans offer only limited coverage and do not cover all aspects of the service line, such as an inoperable stopbox. We are thoroughly researching service providers and plans and will select a partner we can recommend only after a thorough and rigorous review of the company’s qualifications and services. We anticipate a program that DMWW can fully endorse will be available to our customers later this year.
“Before selecting any service provider or coverage, we encourage customers to ask questions specifically related to the coverage offered to ensure it covers the service line from the tap to the home or business, including the stopbox, and to be sure the offer is made by a reputable company,” said Randy Beavers, CEO and General Manager.
DMWW considers ourselves your partner in ensuring you receive a quality product and service for all aspects of your water service, and we take very seriously our mission to provide responsive services that provide high value to our customers. We cannot affirm that HomeServe’s offering meets this high standard.
If you have any questions, please contact Des Moines Water Works at (515) 283-8700.
Des Moines Water Works’ website has a new look. But the most exciting changes are in the enhanced customer features.
Des Moines Water Works (DMWW) listened to customer suggestions for more functionality to online customer accounts, including consumption alerts. Don’t be surprised by a high water bill anymore. DMWW’s new website will offer customers the ability to set a daily consumption threshold – an amount you choose that represents normal water use for your account. If your daily consumption exceeds that on any given day, an automated alert will be sent to an email account you provide.
“We encourage customers to save money and save water by taking advantage of the consumption alert feature available on our new website,” said Amy Kahler, Director of Customer Service and Marketing. “Too many times, customers don’t notice a leaking toilet until they open their water bill and find that it has doubled or even tripled its normal amount. The new alert feature allows customers to be notified as the leak is occurring and promptly correct it, avoiding wasted water and the surprise of a large bill.”
Other new customer account features include the ability to:
- Create your own username and password
- Manage multiple accounts under one profile (log in)
- Change and store bank/credit card information
- Schedule payments
- View consumption for the last 13 months
- Sign up for E-statements and/or automated payment methods
Other basic improvements to the website include a cleaner layout and simplified navigation. We encourage you to visit www.dmww.com and become an online account user or update your profile. We are confident you will like the new look and feel of our website, and will find the new features very convenient and easy to use.
DMWW remains committed to servicing your account. Customer service representatives are available to assist you with questions about your DMWW account between the hours of 7:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday at (515) 283-8700.
In listening to customers’ feedback, Des Moines Water Works has initiated three new programs in the past year to bring more value to our customers. All of these programs are technology driven and have been implemented in response to customer requests.
The “E-Statement” program began in early 2010 with roughly 1,000 customers signing up the first month. Currently, there are just short of 4,000 customers taking advantage of this program. “E-Statements” is a way for customers to receive their billing statements electronically via an email from DMWW, cancelling the mailing of a statement to their address. The email that is sent to the customer indicates the amount due and the date charges become past due. They then may logon to their account through www.dmww.com to view the entire statement, make payments, view consumption history, etc. Customers who use E-statements save the utility money in paper, envelopes, postage, etc. At our current level of 4,000 users, the utility saves $20,000 each year, which helps us keep water rates low. Consider subscribing to E-statements—it’s convenient, protects against identity theft, reduces your home’s “bill clutter,” and saves the environment!
In February of 2011, DMWW began accepting “E-Check” or electronic payment from a checking or savings account. Customers may pay by check through their account on www.dmww.com, over the telephone via our automated phone system, or with a live customer service representative over the phone. The customer provides the bank routing number, bank account number, and amount to be paid and DMWW electronically debits their specified account. There is no charge for this service and over 8,000 customers took advantage of this program in June of 2011 alone! E-checks have reduced credit card payments by 50%, which has significantly reduced the utility’s costs, as credit cards are more expensive for the utility to process. Other payment methods accepted are cash, check, credit/debit card, and money orders.
In early 2010, DMWW also began making pre-termination courtesy calls to customers scheduled to have their water service terminated. Customers continue to receive termination notices in the mail and are encouraged to respond promptly to the notice. The calls are just one more service DMWW now provides to assist customers in managing their account and avoid service termination. These pre-termination courtesy calls have been very popular with customers and have helped the utility reduce service terminations by 30%. Ensure your telephone information is up-to-date by calling us at (515) 283-8700.
Des Moines Water Works continues to strive to deliver programs and options that are valued by our customers. What’s on your mind—what could we do to improve our level of service to you?