Wednesday, February 2, 2022

There Must Be a Better Way!

 Yesterday I posted about our strange experience of losing water for a while in the middle of the night and my late night phone call to Irish Water that resulted. I mentioned that I tried to call again to cancel the call-out the next morning when the water was back. I was told that I had to wait for a call from the person who received the report because only they had the power to cancel the work. I waited in vain all day yesterday for contact from this person and eventually assumed maybe they'd figured it out and I wouldn't hear from them. Wrong! This morning at 9:25, I had a text saying they would be investigating the situation and I would be contacted when the case was closed. There was no way to reply to this text. Perhaps the first part of any investigation should be to speak to the person who originally reported the problem. By then it was 32 hours after I had done this. Circumstances can change in that amount of time! 

All I could think about was the fact that there were people out there who really did not have water and were waiting for service to be restored. Meanwhile, someone was investigating a non-existent problem because there was no way for me to speak with anyone to tell them this. And if the timing of this chain of events was typical, they have a long wait time even without resources being wasted like that.

At about 1:30, some 36 hours after I called to report the problem, the phone rang. When I answered, the guy from Irish Water asked if I 'had time for a phone call.' I said I did, but rushed on before he could interrupt, explaining that the water had come back on, I'd tried to call, etc. He said that he didn't have any details about exactly what the original problem that led to the middle of the night phone call was, but he was glad it was fixed and that if the water ever stops flowing again, I should not hesitate to call Irish Water again and they would get it sorted as soon as possible. 

I am left wondering why they think this is a good way to do things. First there is the waste of resources. Then there is the bewildering idea of having someone call who has no idea what the problem was in the first place. Had the water not come back, even after the 'investigation' took place, it seems like this guy would have been able to do nothing except send another report and give another reference number (which I never had to use anyway). Then I guess there would be another 36 hour wait until another 'investigation' took place. 

Shortly after we moved to Ireland, protests against newly imposed water charges happened all across the country. They may have been going on before we got here as well. People were angry at these new charges for reasons I still do not fully understand. I think that property tax was not a thing until a few years before we arrived and people didn't feel like they should have to pay more charges on top of that, among other objections. At the same time, it was clear that water infrastructure was in huge need of modernizing and refurbishment. There were all kinds of water quality stories. I just thought it was weird that there were no water charges at all. In the end, the protesters won. Water charges were brought in and lasted about a year before everyone who had paid them got their money refunded to them and the charges were scrapped. 

There is still a lot of work to be done on the water infrastructure here. Sending people out to investigate problems that have somehow resolved themselves does not seem like a good use of limited resources. Then again, what do I know?


Vicki said...

I don't see how some companies are still in business considering they way they are run. Glad your water came back on so quickly!

Shari Burke said...

We were grateful!

I agree with you about the businesses. I guess in this case, people don't have a choice. Unless one has a well, they have Irish Water. It's the municipal water supply. Everyone relies on them for sewerage services. Since there are no water or sewer bills, I had never dealt with them before. 🤔