The COVID-19 public-health emergency impacted Trenton Water Works, including our customer service, billing, and meter-reading operations. Meter reading and billing were delayed as a result of implementing revised work schedules to protect our employees and customers. These precautionary measures affected our ability to read meters and generate billing as we normally would. We were unable to bill our customers for the "Water Ready" or "Ready to Serve" charges, which represent the water-meter rental fee for the fourth quarter of 2020.
We notified all our customers in late July 2021 by a direct mailer in English and Spanish. And, in September, we posted information on our website that conveyed how the pandemic impacted our operations, including billing changes and the steps we were taking to ameliorate the situation.
In October, we applied an adjustment to all customer accounts for the water-meter rental fee and generated a bill run. It is this billing that has resulted in an increase in calls to our Customer Service unit, which has adapted by extending operations to 7 p.m. on weeknights and 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekends, effective immediately.
We apologize for the confusion that our recent water-meter-rental-fee bill run has caused. We are taking corrective action by extending our service delivery and offering customers with payment challenges flexible ways to get caught up.
I am happy to meet in person with you and your team to discuss this further. Please call my office at (609) 989-3208. Also, please refer residents to TWW Customer Service for billing account inquiries, and to Communications and Community Relations at (609) 989-3033 if they wish to provide other feedback. For your reference, I have included the direct-mail piece we sent to our customers in July.