Monarch Utilities Inc. Complaint

Water Utlity Company Rips Off Consumers for months - water services

- Texas - Cedar Park TX
This company supplies water to our subdivision. The trouble started back in December of 2007. They disconnected my neighbors water to turn on water at one of my properties. I have continuously made contact to try to resolve this. I am continuing to get several bills for the neighbor that is next door to mt rental property and also for a residence that has no meter in it. They have recently decided to change the company Name to ECHO Resources. I spoke with a new employee when thet raised the prices and never informed me by mail on the rate increase prior to it going into effect. The new employee stated that the funds where in controversy and reapirs were needed to update the equipment and the previous account for that funding has been use in adequatelt so they have to go to the board to permently increase the rates and until they do these prices wil remain in effect until a decision is made but that is the only way that they can recoup the funds to do more upgrades. I have bills for two properties that we do not own and to which one has no meter at all.

I spoke with them again today and after several attepts to get this resovled for 3 months now. One bill that belongs to another account whix has no meter there at all is for $102.27 and for the one that was for the resident next to mine is $0.40. I run all over the reps and finally was giving a supervisor and she disconnected me 2 times and stated that she had no idea why this was continueing as she made a ticket 3 months ago on this. And that she would have to contact me back when they could figure out what was going.

My main concern is that they also do this to eldery people that have a fixed income more so then I do.



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Reader Comments:

Posted by laura_ruiz on 12/18/2008
I have had a similiar problem with this company. I was billed for 230.00 and 32,000 gallons of usage in one month. I have been on the phone with reps, no one care to expalin why I am being billed for 10 times my average usage. I live on 2 lots, have no leaks, and an aerobic septic system. One of our local new stations just aired a negative story on Monarch Utilities yestserday in another subdivision. The Better Business Bureau shows several complaints against this company.

Posted by carlacam on 04/16/2009
My story with this rip off company is they do not read meters every month! They charge me estimated on previous month or year use. They charge me water use on a house that I am sell and no one lives there. One month they charge me the regular monthly fee and 1000 gallons, the next month same thing, then they finally read the meter the 3rd month and charge me the fee and 2000 gallons. Everytime I call they say the same crap / you probably have a leak. They have been out and checked and reported no leaks, but still continue to charge me for water I am not using. The regular monthly fee is more than my water bill where I live and use water. My Monarch bill minimum monthly amount with NO USEAGE is 44.81. My bill where I live is 40.28 and I washed 10 loads of clothes, bathed for a month(sometimes twice in a day), watered the lawn, washed the dogs, and hosed off the patio. I used 1500 gallons. We have got to do something to stop the theft of our money by this company.

Posted by spwrona-tx on 07/16/2009
Similar problems. When I found out that the base-rate was over $44/month (the normal base-rate with other local companies is appropximately $28/monthy), I contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) who, apparently, regulates utility companies. I was told (by a very nice individual) that there was nothing I could do short of moving. This was because someone at TCEQ had approved the Monarch rate increases. In addition, our water supply pressure varies from day-to-day so that I have to continually check if I have a leak. There is also a large problem with the water quality. Every now and the, Monarch runs our water through a water softener-apparently without much control. The water has so much "salt" in it, that it burns the eyes and is dangerous because it is so "slippery." I am 66 year old and have come extremely close to haveing a dibilitating accident because of this. In this electronic age, the TCEQ is either antiquated, or covering themselves. I can find nothing on their website to file a complaint of this type. It also apprears the only recourse is to download a PDF file, complete it, and mail it into the never-never land of TCEQ. If anyone has additional information regards to correcting this situatin, please let me know.

Posted by rocker2 on 10/08/2009
you got that right, I have received the last three months bills for 83.00, $124.00, and $97.00,of course if it is not read each month than how can you really average what is going on. This company has had SEVERAL complaints and still continues to keep doing what they have been doing, Is anyone going to listen? will we keep having to pay outrageous prices to keep our water on. Somehow Monarch should be regulated better than this. I have now talked with (TCEQ) who is aware that this is happening.

Posted by ha-maxwell on 10/22/2009
This co. supplies water to the subdivison where we own a lot and wanted to put our retirement home back in early June '09.We sent in the meter application and $415.00 on June 9,2009.We attempted to contact them about when we would get our meter on many ocasions.We finally decided to have a water well installed because our home was complete and we needed water.We asked that they return our check but they said they had never recevied our check.They said they would return it when they received it.On Aug.28,they cashed the check.We have been trying to get our money back ever since then.We faxed them a demand letter to refund our money and jumped thru all the hoops.We have located an elder care attorney and we will have to sue them for our money and they will have to pay our attorney also.All this because there is no management in any of the departments we have spoken to!!!


Posted by jdavila23 on 12/09/2009
I am having a dispute from a bill from March. I can shw proof I paid and they still want to argue with me that I still owe them this bill. I would like to contact Channel 5 in the DFW area to tell my story. I have neighbors that are also having billing problems with this company. I wonder if there are any more people out there? Anyone know how to get the mdia involved on this?

Posted by reddragonccc16 on 01/14/2010
You will love this problem from Monarch....
I had the same problem with this idiotic company,they dont read their own meters half the time and the bill goes up and down no matter how much water we use,we have no leaks at all in the entire system,our bill stays between $50 to $160 per month.... we had paid our bill for july 09 which was $97 we were one week into the new billing cycle and decided to go visit family in Georgia for the next 2 months,,,so before leaving I turned off the hot water heater,turned off the incoming water valve inside my house,then I went outside to the main valve and took my
T-handle valve wrench and shut the water off coming to the meter...then I took the readings from the meter......
When we returned home the meter reading was still the same as when we left...
And low and behold I had a bill for 2 months that stated I used 1125 gallons one month and 1059 the next month....
I called and asked them how did they arrive at that figure,,the woman said we read the meter sir and thats how much you used...she became very silent when I told her I shut off the water one week into the first billing cycle ...the fool woman then tried to tell me I had leak somewhere after the meter and it would still run when the water in the house was off..and I still had to pay the bill and get the leak fixed...
She transfered me to a supervisor when I told her that I shut the water off at the main line valve before the meter,and the readings on the meter have'nt changed since that day...
The Idiotic supervisor claimed they read the meter and it was accurate,,I asked her please tell me the numbers of the last reading...and of course she couldnt because they never read it...
I told her that I would not be paying the bill until they could prove that the meter reflected the actual water usage they were charging me for and I would look into the laws concerning fraud/theft...
It wasnt but 24 hours later a service truck was outside,they read the meter and the man came in and told me that the meter was defective and they would need to replace it and my bill would be adjusted and sent out in 5-7 days...
I waited till they were done and looked and low and behold a brand new meter was installed,I walked over to the main valve before the meter and the service guy had used his torch to braise the bolt on the cover so we couldnt open it again.....figures!
We got the adjusted bill which was only $89 for both months...
Needless to say they are a bunch of frauds...so I paid out $9,000 the following month to have my own well installed,,called them and cancelled my account....
A different service guy showed up and was not at all happy he had to spend 20 minutes getting the bolt out of the valve cover to shut off the water and then dig down all around the meter and cut the line coming in to even get the meter out,((someone ????)) Had took a mig welder and welded the all fittings together on the meter...
it took him about 4 hours.....he was Po'ed...
served them right though...


Posted by Aaronwtylr on 01/19/2010
I totally understand where you are coming from. I am in a subdivision in Chandler, Tx which i moved in here in October of last year. Monarch came and connected my water on the 18th but left the note on the door that it was off at the meter. So my husband and I turned the water on just to make sure there was no problem and immediately turned it off. Several weeks later after we finally got finished moving in we recieved a bill. I was blown away the bill was for two days of September the 18th thru the 20th and it was for $122.00 even tho it was turned off at the meter. I have been fighting with the company since then. They have disconnected me without notice and keep telling me they are still waiting for the board to adjust the bill. No such luck. After the disconnection they said they needed to verify my address because they were getting returned mail but I had recieved the bills just so happened I didnt get a disconnection notice Hmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!. The sad part about these stories is that Monarch is the only supplier out here and they do it to everyone, we have no other option. Sincerely, Chapped in Chandler

Posted by VORTREKER on 01/25/2010
It would take 10 pages to describe all of the problems I have had with this company since moving back to Texas last year. The real out and out fraud is that they are charging me for sewage. I am on a septic system and the company does not even have sewage lines run to this subdivision!! This company needs to be investigated. This is simply fraud. Calling and writing them is a waste of time they do not respond.

Posted by zzzulu on 02/16/2010
Tues., 02/16/2010 - I'm one of the elderly, living on a fixed income, that's getting ripped off by Monarch Utilities in the Cherokee Shores subdivision of Texas. No matter what, I'm billed for 2K-3K gallons of water every month even tho' I don't use even close to that much. I live alone, have no dishwasher or washer, and my bill averages approx. $110 every month. Monarch Utilities doesn't read my meter every month either. Complaining gets no results. This last month, Monarch Utilities changed it's billing system with the bill covering 45 days instead of the normal 30, and my current water bill is $160.xx!! The only answer I've come up with is to move where there is no Monarch Utilities.

Posted by ssnutt on 02/19/2010
I knew they were rip offs from my huge bills - I am the at live alone at this moment and my bills where 80.00 - I was hardly ever home - I hardly ever used my water. they finally went down its now 44.00 which is still too high for one person - something about some kind of 30.00 dollars a month charge they where trying to lay on us - I couldn't believe it. I miss Plumb creek water - they were fair. they are one of the reasons why i will be selling sooner then I had plan to. Rip offs evry where

Posted by ssnutt on 02/19/2010
I contacted our state rep about this and no reply - nothing - nada - maybe when we get a better or NEW govenor someone can get them involved

Posted by klglenn on 03/19/2010
I have been dealing with this water company for almost a decade now in the Sherwood Shores area on Lake Texoma. Over the years I have experienced almost every one of the problems the other posters have complained about, including the magic meter switch. The water is substandard, but they charge an enormous monthly minimum. I have tested the water myself, and it is way over the EPA allowable limits on dissolved solids, among other things. Their "technician" uses enough sodium hypochlorite in the well to bleach clothes in the washer and burn skin in the shower. I would not give the water to my animals, much less drink it myself. Guess what? They are absolutely protected by law. If a water company has less than 1000 meters, they do not have to pass certain EPA guidelines. Only minimal testing is required by law. The corporation who owns Monarch (at the moment it is called Monarch, they will just rename and reorganize when they start having too many complaints) understands how to keep within the letter of the law, so they cannot be dealt with. It is the most unethical thing in the world, but it is legal. They are the worst kind of frauds and rip-off artists. They knowingly pray on people with a lower socioeconomic status, because they buy up small water companies in the poorer rural areas. Most of their water companies need a lot of upgrades, so they snatch them up for pennies on the dollar. The upgrades will never happen. Their MO is to target small water companies under the 1000 meter limits, so even though they run utilities all over the state of Texas, each one remains a separate entity. They had over 97 of them last time I checked. That way they do not have to meet minimum water quality guidelines. I have looked up the board of directors and worked to get something done about this company for years. They are untouchable. They know who to pay off and exactly where the legal lines are drawn. I was not surprised to see faces associated with Enron among their board of directors when I was investigating them. There is a special place in hell for these people........ and reddragon....GOOD FOR YOU!!!!! LOL!

Posted by kristy_burchell on 05/06/2010
I live in the tiny section of Johnson County TX serviced by Monarch. Our house was new construction, but it had a meter and water service when we moved in. I called Monarch when we closed to set up a new account and the guy said our address didn't exist. I needed to talk to tapping. I talked to tapping and they said since we had a meter and water, we didn't need tapping, so I called back customer service and the guy "magically" setup an account. Okay - whatever - maybe he just missed it the first time. We get our first bill and lo-and-behold it's for a house (maybe even just a lot) a block away! I called and told them of the error. They again said my address and meter number didn't exist in their system and that I needed to call tapping. So I did. See above. This went on for almost a YEAR and I finally said "I am tired of paying my neighbor's bill." It is now 2 years since we moved in. The whole time we had water, and I knew eventually the whole thing would unravel, they would catch on to the fact that they never received payment for this address and disconnect the water (if they ever recognized this address)- I have never once received a bill from them for MY address.

So this morning it happened - they shut off the water. I called, gave them my address, and they insisted that I was Ms. Gonzalez. I am not Ms. Gonzalez, but apparently they established an account for Ms. Gonzalez at my address and have been billing her for at least 4 months for MY address to the tune of almost $900!!!!

So, now we have no water, they are talking about "back payment" and I want to scream! They are holding our water hostage for their screw up. I am perfectly willing to pay for the water I have used over the last two years (they are going to have to prove usage is from MY meter), but they need to turn the water back on while they unravel the mess THEY made!

Argh!


Posted by bigdaddy_2269 on 08/25/2010
I live in a small city called Blue Mound. We have Monarch Utilities here as well. They are a freaking rip off. My water bill before I ever use a drop of water is $110. They charge the people in this city a water service fee of $50 and a sewer service fee of $50 a month. Then they charge for the water usage. So most of the seniors in the city have $150 water bills a month. They came today and removed my meter. When I called them about this they said that my account had been closed for non payment because they hadn't recieved a payment or had any activity on my account since June. I told them that it is because they hadn't sent me a bill, nor did I even get any kind of disconnect notice. I am a Vol Fireman here in the city and I have a pretty good repore with the Mayor. So I know the inside to alot of what this company has been doing. They are now telling me that I have to pay the past due bill and open another account which in turns means that I have to pay another deposit and they have already taken it toward the bill thats past due. The city of Blue Mound is in a battle with Monarch for the water rights. Our city is having to file imminant domain because Monarch is trying to hold on to the water rights so they can keep rapping the residence of Blue Mound over the water.

Posted by karimo3 on 11/15/2010
I can totally relate to everyones complaints. My water bill for October was $471 when it usually runs $140. The company knows that the leak was their fault and refuses to help me with that bill. Please if anyone has any ideas to help me please contact me via email karimo3@yahoo.com

Posted by imtigger69 on 11/23/2011
they ripped me off last year. the valve on thi8er meter brokie and after "being researchedor 4 months i paid est. $260. now they have charged me twice for connection and deposit $90 twice but first itys in researched now its a different department and they never call bascki. can't something be done?


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