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The staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Bostock: Agency's customer service in the toilet



CLEARWATER -- Pinellas County Commissioner Nancy Bostock has scrutinized the county utilities' plans for recycling, rate increases and spending, but we're not saying that's what prompted this email Monday.

After trying to deal with the county's ultra-low flow toilet rebate program, Bostock wrote to County Administrator Bob LaSala and assistant county administrator Tom Crandall, who runs utilities:


I wanted to let you know that this morning I successfully scheduled an appointment to have my father's toilet inspected under the Pinellas County rebate program. I called for 33 minutes, dialed their number 8 times, was put on hold by a live person 7 times (twice after asking them not to,) went automatically to a recording 8 times, was disconnected from the agency's phone line 3 times and my call wouldn't even go through to the number 5 times ("busy recording.")

And today was immeasurably more successful than the other times I've tried to schedule this appointment.

Just how much do we pay these folks to provide this service?


For the record, a utilities customer service director wrote back within 93 minutes to address her concerns. But it didn't stop Bostock from voting no in a 6-1 vote today to renew the program -- which offers consumers up to $100 rebates -- using a private contractor to run it at a $37 per rebate cost. County officials say that is $20 cheaper than it cost previously.

-- David DeCamp, Times staff writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 12:18pm]


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