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Annual Service Contract - page 15 / 43





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plan shall be developed and implemented in accordance with requirements of Appendix 6. It shall be submitted within 180 days of the Commencement Date         (due date January 27, 2004).

So important was this issue of Customer Service, that the establishment of a Commencement Date could not be met without the approved Customer Service Manual and the establishment of the 24-hour hotline. Customer Service is mentioned in no less than 4 sections of the Service Contract (Section 5.15, Appendix 4, Appendix 6 and Appendix 14).

For the second year in a row OMI-Thames Water has failed to meet this component of the contract and the failure of enforcement by the City with regards to Customer Service. There remains:

No  trained dedicated staff to answer customer questions regarding the Municipal Utility

No  24-hour per day toll-free hotline, staffed by a person AT ALL TIMES, to allow citizens to report emergencies, ask questions, raise issues and lodge complaints.

No  Municipal Utility System website capable of customer inquiries

No public outreach and education campaign.

Note: The City has a full time employee dedicated to Stormwater outreach and education to meet its NPDES permit requirements. This is NOT an OMI position nor a substitution for the Service Contract Customer Service requirement.

After two years of operation, little has been done to correct the contract deficiencies regarding the customer service requirements that should have been met by August 1, 2003 (Commencement Date) and January 27, 2004 (180 days post Commencement Date).

For those who have access to the Internet, requirements state a website is to be maintained capable of customer inquiries. First place to look would be the City of Stockton website, www.stocktongov.com. This Citywide site includes links to all City Departments and services. If you know how to navigate through the website and end up at the Municipal Utility Department site, under wastewater, there is mention that City utility services are privately operated by OMI. The link on this page takes you to OMI’s homepage.  There is no web page for OMI Thames Water Stockton, Inc.

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