SUEZ North America announced today that the company has waived late bill fees for all customers until further notice in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The company previously announced its intention to suspend service shutoffs for non-payment until further notice and also reconnect customers recently disconnected.
“We understand the tremendous financial hardship this pandemic has caused,” said Nadine Leslie, CEO of SUEZ North America, which provides water and wastewater services to approximately seven million people. “We are living in unprecedented times and these additional actions we’re taking on late fees are another way to help the most vulnerable among our customers. It’s the right thing to do.”
SUEZ offers assistance programs for customers struggling to pay their water bills and will continue to offer them for the duration of this crisis. Customers are encouraged to contact their local customer service centers to set up payment plans.
Leslie pointed to the company’s SUEZCares program, established a decade ago, which helps eligible customers pay their water bills through grants. Customers can visit www.suezcares.org for more information. Leslie added that the company has waived late payment fees in all locations in which it owns the utilities. In addition, several municipalities in which SUEZ operates and maintains water and wastewater systems, including Jersey City, Hoboken, Rahway, Orange, Kearny and Bayonne, New Jersey, and Middletown, Pennsylvania, have joined the cause.
“We salute our municipal partners who have taken this additional step with us to help ease the financial burden residents may be facing,” Leslie said.
The company has also taken precautions to protect the health and safety of customers and employees. SUEZ offices are closed to the public for the duration of the crisis. Customers who pay their bills in person at SUEZ offices must now pay their bills online, by mail, by phone or at third party payment centers.
In addition, SUEZ has suspended all customer field service appointments, including in-person meter readings and any installation of automated meter infrastructure, until further notice. Field staff will only perform emergency or critical work. “We have all been affected by this global health crisis in different ways,” said Leslie. “But our commitment remains the same. Our customers can depend on us to deliver safe and reliable water.”
SUEZ serves more than 500,000 customers in Rockland, Westchester, Orange and Putnam counties.