The talk around the water cooler at one Connecticut business was actually about the water cooler.
Code One Training Solutions has now offices in East Hartford, New Haven and Stamford, as well as in Massachusetts, Georgia and South Carolina.
But when it was just starting out, owner and director Richard Shok spent part of his time going to the grocery store to buy water for Code One’s employees and students.
The company trains first responders, medical providers and civilians in CPR and other life-saving skills. As the business grew, buying water from the store became inconvenient.
So Shok signed up for water delivery service through a warehouse club. After a few months, a salesperson told Shok he could save money by ordering directly through Belmont Springs.
It was around the same time Shok said the problems started. He says Belmont Springs did not stick to the delivery schedule.
At the Stamford office, Shok said, "They would usually leave three or four bottles of water outside the door," when the office was closed.
"And we accumulated close to 50 five-gallon bottles of water at that location," he said.
Shok said he repeatedly asked the company to stop delivering to the Stamford office. When that didn’t work, he took action.
"I actually physically came up (to Connecticut) from South Carolina with one of our ambulances and stopped in Stamford on the way. (I) loaded all the water up into the back of the truck and brought it up here," he said.
Shok said delivery was only part of the problem. Code One ended up with two separate accounts.
"When we would make payments, they would get applied to one account and not the other account," Shok said.
He also said sometimes the payments were logged incorrectly. The result was a credit on one account and a $4,155 balance on the other.
Shok said he Belmont Springs also continued to charge Code One for equipment its employees were supposed to pick up but never picked did.
When the second account was sent to collections, Shok asked NBC Connecticut Responds for help. Almost immediately after Responds reached out to Belmont’s parent company, Cott Corporation, a representative called Shok to straighten things out.
"When they took it out of collections after NBC had reached out to them, that amount had shrunken to about $700 and change," Shok said.
Shok is now working directly with Cott Corporation to settle and close the account.
In a statement to NBC Connecticut, a spokesman for Cott Corporation said:
"Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. Our regional managers are implementing appropriate corrective action within the locations noted as well as providing some additional training throughout the system.
We will continuously strive to get better and improve on our customer service. As a matter of fact, we are projected to spend a significant amount of time, money and effort in improving and incorporating a number of technology and training projects specifically in regards to customer service over the next few years that will assist our service standards and make the customer service process much more seamless."