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Consumer Rights/Grace period on utility bill

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Question
I live in an apartment complex in Texas and the apartment complex bills the tenants for their water bill as there are not individual meters.  This month my water bill was mailed from California on 6/26/13 and my bill is late if not paid by 7/1/13.  I am lucky to receive the bill in time to make my payment.  Last month I missed checking my mailbox one day and when I went the following day my bill was there but it was after the apartment office was closed so I went the next morning to pay.  I was told I owe a $10 late fee on my $30 water bill. Can you point me to any Texas laws that require a grace period and stipulate a minimum period of time before a late fee is applied?

Thanks

Answer
Hello,

Well originally from Wisconsin where both houses had wells, I was used to not paying for water. Then I came to Texas.
From my personal experience of researching such, there is no leniency and they are unmerciful. The grace period i sent out after the original bill and like you are stating adds a late fee before the water is shut off. Generally 10 days after the late notice, the water is shut off and then there is a $75 reconnect fee. All that is is sending a man out to remove the padlock and turn the water on.
Other utilities such as gas and electric will work with the customer. Not the water people and as I stated, I have found no state law regulating them as for their business practices. The only time the state gets involved is if there is a water quality issue.
I love Texas, but I have absolutely no use for the monopol don't go with that service, there is no other. Malloy in East Texas water is similar in quality to that of Garland city water. Filled with bleach and in my opinion is undrinkable. Cash water in East Texas are in my opinion a worthless company with worthless employees.
My personal opinion on the water companies as far as their business practice in Texas--"Ruthless."

Even when I paid for water from the city of Milwaukee, it was very cheap and service was never threatened to be shut off even though these independent water companies require a deposit. I have been round and round with these people in Texas and I fully understand why they are protected by bullet resistant glass. Someday it is my opinion that there will be an incident that will make national news at a water company if it hasn't already happened.

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I am not an attorney, nor can I give legal advice. I can however answer questions related to stolen vehicles when the insured is denied payment due to misrepresentation. My goal is to sort through all the puported facts in order to determine the truth as to how the vehicle was last operated. I work for insurance companies and against them when their "Forensic Expert" did not do his job in an unbiased manner. Commonly these theft insurance denials are based on the information supplied in the "forensic" report on the vehicle. In most cases conclusions inferring the insured's key (proper key)was used last, based on net opinion with no basis. I scrutinize these reports as to what theories were or were not ruled out.

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I have served as a consultant/expert for plaintiff & defense attorneys since 1998 in 14 different state jurisdictions as well as federal court. I was also the defense expert in a USAF court martials in which we prevailed. I do not take full credit for the prevailing side. It is a joint effort by the client attorney and my extensive knowledge on auto theft, forced entry, forensic ignition analysis, transponders, vehicle fire origin and cause etc.

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