I am writing this to save someone from making the mistake I made.

All my drains were working except when I did laundry. The sump pump would not drain down its drain. I was advised to have a plumber. The plumber did the same thing the drain specialists do. However, the charge was twice as much, plus they took apart the 6.5 HP vacuum that my son had hooked up toe the drain and left it that way.

If my neighbors had had drain problems first I would have been suspicious since they had been working on the street south of ours and we often have problems then. Her problem was after mine and she paid less on a weekend from a drain specialist than I was charged. Be sure to ask the price before you let them do anything.

As a widow or single we are already penalized by the garbage company and pay as much as a family.

Orpha Dodge

Ottumwa

“Satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back.” I saw this displayed on a garbage truck some years ago. I did not see the humor in it and considered it a credible threat. After all, the garbage company was a monopoly. There were no options for any other trash or recycle pickup. As a monopoly they do not even need a customer service department. Don’t like our service, eat dirt. Who are you going to call?

Last Monday, as the dawn brought daylight to my street, I found my overturned recycle basket next to a pile of last week’s business advertisements with other sheets blown across my yard and into my neighbor’s yard. My recycle basket is loaded with printed matter first, then solid recycle. I found no evidence that the wind had blown the papers out of the recycle tub. But hey, they come by at 4:30 a.m. with the recycle truck that sounds like a freight train on bad track in my front yard. Why do they have to start at 3 a.m.? I have the feeling it is really dark at that time of day. With all the clanging and banging, the only time I get a good night’s sleep on Sunday night is when Monday is a holiday.

It must have been too dark for them to see what had happened. But then I do not think they have any understanding of the term “customer satisfaction.” They are a monopoly and, as I see it, they could care less about my satisfaction. Without certain performance stipulations in the contract with the city it will always be that way.

Craig Allen

Ottumwa

Editor’s note: Craig Allen is a member of the Courier’s editorial board.

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