The Water Company is deaf



The water company’s employees have made it a point never to respond to the complaints of subscribers.

THOUGH many complaints have been made against the Saudi Water Company (SWC) by the public, the company has been not listening or responding. It is as if its ears have been filled with wax so it does not hear anything.

The water company’s employees have made it a point to never respond to the complaints of subscribers. They will shamelessly tell them to pay the bill or the supply to their homes will be cut.

Hassan Niqaiti, an educationist, told me that he lived in a duplex villa in Makkah with four other people. He said his monthly bill for water and sewage never went beyond SR100.

However, all of a sudden, the company sent him a bill of SR40,000 for his consumption of water during one month.

He said when he went to the company for a review of the bill, the employees expressed their surprise at the heavy consumption and advised him to check his underground water tank because there might be some leakage.

Niqaiti said he went to a specialized company and asked them to check his underground water tank as well as the water meter after paying it SR4,000 for the job.

He said the company’s technicians found no fault with the underground tank, which was safe and sound, and the meter was working perfectly.

He said he went again to the SWC, which made him to visit the office several times in the next three months to find a solution.

Niqaiti said instead of reaching a settlement, the company surprised him with a new bill to the tune of SR84,000. The bill more than doubled in about 90 days.

The company asked him to pay SR2,000 to restore the supply to his villa until they reach a settlement in the dispute of the bill.

The man thought of bringing the issue to my attention so that I write about his predicament in the newspaper with the hope that the company would read and solve his case.

I narrated his case to a friend of mine who said he had a house in Jeddah to which he goes only every two weeks but the water bills that came to him were in thousands of riyals.

“I do not know if my house haunted by the jinn who drink, wash and clean 24 hours a day,” he said.

The friend told me that he checked all the water tanks and the bathrooms but there was no leakage anywhere.

He said an employee of the SWC suspected that a neighbor might have extended a pipe to steal water from his house but on checking he found that there was nothing of the sort.

Some subscribers who visited the company discovered that the actual value of their bills was less than one tenth of the amount of money they were asked to pay.

The company came to the conclusion that the best way to deal with the complaints of its subscribers was to ignore them by closing its eyes and ears.