If you live or do business in Poway, you’ve most likely interacted with our city’s Customer Services staff. Customer Services oversees water billing and payment collection, water meter reading, issuing business certificates and regulatory licenses – and a whole lot more.
Customers Services is often the first phone number people call when they need assistance for anything related to Poway, and often the first faces they see when they walk through the doors of City Hall. It’s where they turn to in good times, like setting up water service for their first home or obtaining a business certificate for their new venture. It’s also where people turn to in more challenging times, like when they’ve fallen behind on water payments, received a bill that seems unusually high or need to pay a parking citation.
For all the interactions with the public, Customer Services staff strive to balance compassion and kindness with consistency and integrity.
“We are committed to the community we serve, and we strive to be good stewards of public funds,” said Revenue and Operations Supervisor Cristyn Vure.
That’s why they take the extra time to walk through the “why” behind the answer and point customers to additional resources. This has been especially important over the past two years as more families struggled to make ends meet as a result of the pandemic. Customer Services actively sought out opportunities through county, state and federal relief programs for Poway water customers who fell behind on their water payments.
Staff each have a different area of responsibility, but all pitch in when it comes to helping residents. They can walk you through the most likely culprit for a water leak (spoiler alert: your toilet), and counsel new homeowners to check the outdoor irrigation timers (it’s usually bumped up to increase a home’s curb appeal when it goes on the market).
Because meters are read every two months, it could be eight to nine weeks from the time a leak starts until a customer sees the impact on their water bill. The best way to keep that from happening is to check your water meter on a regular basis, staff will tell you. An easy way to keep track is to make it part of your routine when you set out your trash carts each week.
Customer Services staff are on the front line of serving residents and businesses of Poway. As bill payers and water customers themselves (either in Poway or nearby), they know what it’s like to be on the other side of that phone call, email, or City Hall counter. That’s why they strive to be expert problem solvers, keen listeners, and (above all) committed to finding an equitable solution.