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Consumer Watchdog Group Claims DWP Dragging Feet On Refunds

KCBS Los Angeles, CA
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2016/09/13/consumer-watchdog-group-claims-dwp-dragging-feet-on-refunds/

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Consumer Watchdog, a nonprofit consumer advocacy group, claims ratepayers who overpaid the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power may not get refunds until mid-2017.

In a news release Tuesday, the group cited court records, and claimed DWP attorneys have repeatedly delayed the settlement process.

The DWP has estimated it overcharged customers a total of $44 million, since a defective billing system started sending out incorrect bills in 2013. Customers filed several lawsuits over the inflated bills, and the DWP promised full refunds. Settlement terms have been delayed in the court system.

The DWP responded with a written statement Tuesday:

“The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is committed to fully reimbursing ratepayers impacted by billing system issues. An independent court appointed monitor, working under the direction of plaintiff’s counsel, has been carefully reviewing and validating DWP’s processes to ensure all customers are made whole. The cornerstone of the settlement was the appointment of an independent monitor to ensure every consumer receives a 100 percent refund.  That is exactly what is occurring.  The process created by the settlement is working. The final amount of the settlement will not be known until the processes are completed.”

Consumer Watchdog also called on Mayor Eric Garcetti to take charge of the DWP, and urged voters to reject Measure RRR on the November ballot. The measure would restructure DWP governance.