Statement by LADWP Regarding Preliminary Approval of Proposed Settlement of Customer Billing Class Action Litigation
December 21, 2015
|We are pleased with Judge Berle’s decision today to approve in principle the class action settlement related to the failed implementation of our customer billing system by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, LLP (PwC) in 2013. Judge Berle characterized the proposed settlement as “unique,” “reasonable, adequate, and in the best interest of the settlement class,” and it makes good on a commitment we made to our customers to review every account and make whole any customer who was overcharged, regardless of how small the error. With this agreement, every customer who was affected will be repaid 100 cents on the dollar. It also includes benchmarks and key performance indicators that we fully intend to meet and report on to an independent monitor appointed by the court on a quarterly basis for 18 months.
Under the proposed Settlement, any customer who was overcharged will receive a credit, or refund if no longer a LADWP customer, for the full amount they were overcharged. The amount of credit or refund will be reviewed for accuracy by an independent third party. Any customer who disagrees with the amount of credit or refund can submit their claim to an independent “Special Master,” who will consider the merits of the claim, and make a recommendation to the Court. If the customer disagrees with the decision made by the Special Master, they can take their claim directly to the Judge overseeing the Settlement. This process provides multiple layers of review to ensure every refund or credit is fair and accurate.
Today’s ruling was made in anticipation of preliminary approval on February 5th upon the satisfaction of the Court’s conditions. The Court ruled that December 21, 2015 will be the date of record so that notifications can go out in 90 days informing customers of their rights under the settlement.
LADWP and the City continues to pursue legal action to seek recovery of all damages incurred by LADWP as a result of PwC’s failed implementation of the new customer billing system, including all costs associated with the class action settlement.
LADWP has made remarkable progress in the last 18 months to remedy the problems with the new billing system and to improve our customer service. Call hold times that used to be more than 30 minutes have dropped and stayed below three minutes for twenty straight weeks. Billing metrics continue to meet or exceed industry standards. While most of the defects in the new billing system that caused the problems have been fixed, we will continue to make enhancements and improvements to the system.
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