Company emphasizes that water company employees always have company-issued photo ID badges; Never come to customers’ homes demanding payment to avoid shut off
DAVENPORT, IA (November 30, 2017) – Iowa American Water today issued a reminder to customers to be wary of individuals posing as water company personnel to gain access to their homes or demanding payment to avoid water service shut off. This advisory comes after a customer in Bettendorf reported that an individual knocked on their door claiming to be a water company employee and demanded money in order to avoid their water service being shut off. Fortunately, the customer refused to pay the individual and contacted the Bettendorf Police Department.
"For the safety of our customers, we are reminding them that our employees always carry company-issued photo ID badges and will never come to a customer’s home demanding a payment to avoid water shut off," said Mary Jane Midgett, Director of Operations for Iowa American Water. "Customers are always encouraged to contact our customer service center at 1-866-641-2108 if they are unsure of the identity of someone who comes to their home as a representative of Iowa American Water. It is always better to err on the side of safety and confirm someone’s identity before allowing them inside your home."
Iowa American Water recommends customers take the following steps to ensure their safety against imposters:
Stop and think: Are you expecting anyone to come to your home? Iowa American Water does not typically send a service worker to your home unannounced. They usually will have an appointment before showing up. An exception would be if there is a water main break in your neighborhood. Water company distribution workers routinely knock on customers’ doors to provide an advance notification if water service will be temporarily interrupted during main repairs; however, they typically do not request entry to a customer’s home.
All Iowa American Water employees have company-issued photo ID cards to verify their employment. However, if you cannot see an ID card without opening your door; you should call the company’s customer service center at 1-866-641-2108 for verification.
Iowa American employees drive company vehicles with an Iowa American logo printed on the side and have a uniform, jacket or hat with the company logo. For a customer service call, the vehicle would be visible to the customer and parked outside their home.
Iowa American Water employees do not request entry to your home after dark unless it is an emergency call requested by the customer or an appointment for service work that has been scheduled in advance by the customer.
Iowa American Water employees will NEVER come to a customer’s home demanding payment of an unpaid bill to avoid water shut off. Field employees are not allowed to accept payments from customers.
If in doubt, you should always contact the water company for employee verification or contact the local police department. You should always have the person wait outside behind a locked door while this is done. A legitimate worker won’t mind waiting while you verify their employment information.
Iowa American Water advises customers to never admit a person into their home if they are doubtful of that person's identity. It is always much better to be safe than sorry.
"There is no need to feel uneasy about making someone wait outside while you confirm that person is a legitimate utility worker," added Midgett. Iowa American Water employees care about customers’ safety, and our employees don’t mind the wait. We believe it’s worth the peace of mind for our customers."