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Aloha's key management tool: denial

Letters to the Editor
Published July 24, 2005

After over a decade of resisting customers' assertion that the quality of water in their domestic plumbing is poor because the processing method used by Aloha has been inadequate to produce stable water and needs to be upgraded, Aloha has made an offer of settlement! If scientific knowledge instead of inappropriate legal jousting had been its management tool, Aloha could have cleaned up its water and abandoned its legal belligerence a lot earlier and had an excellent relationship with its customer base.

Now after antagonizing a significant portion of its customers, Aloha wants to settle without an "admission of fault or liability on water quality or customer service issues which have been raised by the commission or some of Aloha's customers." Denial seems to be Aloha's basic tool of management. Why not honor Aloha's customers by telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth? That is why a show cause hearing under oath by the Public Service Commission is essential.

The state of Florida has allowed certain utilities to be run as cooperatives. Maybe the customers are a generous group of citizens who will be glad to give an independently assessed fair price to buy Aloha Utilities from the corporation, even though most of the assets that Aloha now claims as its own were donated to Aloha Utilities so that the customers could receive water utility services. The customers can then run it as a cooperative that produces better quality water at lower costs than Aloha seems to be able to do. The customers' knowledge of water chemistry seems to be better than that of Aloha as demonstrated by the Pasco County Ad Hoc Committee recommendations which form the basis of the ordinance recently passed by the County Commission. The customers will not need high-priced lawyers. There are many retired management experts and accountants who can do a more creditable job.

The word "Aloha" can then have its true meaning of "welcome" restored instead of being tainted by the discoloration and bad smell a significant number of Aloha's customers experience.

-- Harry Hawcroft, Trinity

We need smell-a-vision

The latest red herring tactic that Aloha is using is ridiculous. Open your eyes, politicians and personnel from the Public Service Commission, Aloha has some smart lawyers that have no intention of releasing any of us customers from the agony of their nasty, smelly, unbefitting product they call water.

I have dealt with this company since moving into the Seven Springs area, and the water has not changed; it is still horrid. I wish there was a medium in which people could witness the quality of this company's drinking water. Scratch and sniff newspapers, maybe? How about smell-a-vision? If and when this is achievable, make sure there is a Surgeon General Warning alarming the possibility of sickness if smelled during dinnertime.

I even had the head customer service lady from Aloha show up at my house with one of her worker bees. They turned on the water outside my house and said "it didn't smell, and the water is fine." They would not come into my house. The worker said that "his responsibility is up to the line and not in the house." Now it was outside, a little windy, and no way for him to get a true vision of what my family lives through while doing a load of laundry. It would have only taken a few moments to start up the dishwasher and let them witness the aromatic displeasures of his company's water at work.

Now they did say "I should turn up the hot water heater, and replace my copper pipes." At the time my house was less than 2 months old and still to this day has no copper pipes. I did turn up the hot water heater 15 degrees to what they suggested but the water smells just as bad now as before, and my electric bill has gone up $2 a month.

Don't let this little company get away with charging money for unsuitable services. Come to my house and smell my water, taste my water and experience a shower while holding your breath. Hopefully, one day all of us within the Aloha community can be happy with clean, non-smelly water, even if it means switching us to a different utility.

-- Chris Hodges, New Port Richey

The "little guy' must fight

Fellow private utility customers, we are being duped by our government again. Pasco County water is using state regulations to stomp out the little guy and steal their business, plain and simple. Aloha, Lindrick, Anclote, (who'll be next on the attack list, Forest Hills?) are currently fighting the government to stay in business.

I am the mom who complained about my infant's black bathtub at the commission hearing against Aloha. I listened, as well. Aloha has offered to replace our old copper pipes with PVC, and I learned during the hearing that my water softener, not Aloha, was to blame for my black water. I went home from that meeting and turned off my water softener, and the black water went away. My family now drinks that same water.

Aloha, your lawyer stinks. Join together with all the other private "little guy" utilities and fight. Forest Hills, watch your back; Pasco's trying to take over.

-- Leah Gibson, New Port Richey

[Last modified July 24, 2005, 00:22:18]

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