Share This Page

Problems with PAMS

| Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Regarding the letter “PAMS late fees outrageous” (Dec. 22) about Pennsylvania Municipal Services' billing and collection: Not only are PAMS' policies questionable when you owe them money, they are no better when something is their fault.

I am a new resident in Oakmont. My first property tax bill from PAMS was sent late and did not include the Pennsylvania Homestead Exclusion. Despite multiple attempts to obtain a corrected bill, I finally had to go to the office and pay the bill without the reduction. I was promised the mistake would be it fixed. My second bill, however, was also incorrect. I finally had to contact Allegheny County directly to prove that I had filed for the exclusion on time. Again, I paid in the office and obtained a signed receipt.

But on the day after Thanksgiving, I received a delinquent tax notice. To make matters worse, the delinquency apparently was reported to the credit bureaus.

The reality is PAMS actually owes me a refund for the exclusion that was omitted from my bill. But now I've received a notice that PAMS will not be paying me a refund. And, of course, there was no mention of them paying interest on the balance they owed.

Instead, the agency said I'd have to get my refund directly from the Riverview School District. PAMS failed to provide me with the procedure for doing this.

This is not just an isolated occurrence. Rather, it is indicative of a pattern of carelessness, if not negligence.

I am most concerned because Oakmont has just awarded PAMS the contract to collect water bills because PAMS' bid was significantly lower than competing bids. I'm sure the agency offered this low bid in anticipation of levying outrageous late fees — apparently even on amounts that are not owed.

Elaine Luther

Oakmont

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.