Business

Trash Talking Boise City Utility Billing

The GUARDIAN noticed many calls to the mayor’s hotline during the past week or so were about utility billing by the city’s Public Works department.

One citizen told us it was nearly impossible to get through the maze of automated telephone recordings trying to figure out what he thought was improper or non billing. Here is a statement from the Public Works Department:

Boise City Utility Billing switched billing systems in the spring (2013). The system is billing correctly, but with the new bill format and presentation of the billing information we have seen an increase in call volume as customers ask about the changes.

Recently, we also had staffing changes in the billing department. As a result of these changes, we fell significantly behind in responding to calls and email. We realize this is unacceptable customer service. We have replaced the lost positions and increased staffing. Our call response is now averaging about three minutes and will continue to get better as the new staff learns the system. The longest call wait times happen between noon and 3:00 p.m. If questions are urgent, we ask the public to please call before noon, or send us an email to: utilities@cityofboise.org

We appreciate the patience of our customers. Alleviating call wait times and improving system efficiency is of the highest priority. For more information, visit http://publicworks.cityofboise.org.

If you don’t like the service, you have to either get it fixed or move. Boise City is the exclusive billing agent for trash and sewer services.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. If you think the utility billing system is bad, try calling and emailing the city forester…

    they never get back to you, but then tag your trees for removal in 6 months or so, and follow up with stump removal a year later

    How’s that for customer service!
    …and all I wanted to do is see if my maple tree could be saved 🙁

  2. chicago sam
    Sep 25, 2013, 2:24 pm

    Canyon county residents who live outside of the city of Nampa are billed directly from Republic Services. Guess what– since they do not pay the City of Nampa franchise fee of 20% and efficiency in billing by Republic their trash bills are at least 20% less than in some cases their neighbor across the street. I suspect Boise residents might be in a similar situation

  3. Government leader / employee strategy 101:

    It is most important to cut customer services first and foremost as we divert more and more money is to feed the internal beast of pensions, bonuses, bennies, and pay increases. By cutting where it hurts the most, and is the most visible, the weak minded and inferior general public will be compelled to tolerate or even approve of higher and higher fees and taxes in exchange for less and less actual service delivered to the end point.

  4. right on Zippo!!!!

  5. Zippo is right, we are all frogs being boiled slowly….

    On another note I appreciate the city acknowledging they fell short

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