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Shocking Bill

in Water bills
14 replies 1.4K views
We have this morning, just had a notification from Severn Trent that our direct debit is to increased on 1st March from £14,51 to £22.61 an increase of over 50%. We used to pay over 10 months, but they seem to be incresing it to 12. We are on a water meter and are very frugal with what we use.

We have ot had a statement from them showing our usage since last October, there was nothing but the DD info!!!!!

I really do not know what we can do to use less water, I do not have a dish washer, we use the washing machine only with full loads, we only flush the toilet, which is s dual flush, when the contents are brown, garden watering is done from barrels which take the rain water from the garage, the rain water from the house goes straight into the ground and as we rent the house we cannot divert that......the pension increase we may get in April will not cover this nor the expected increase in council tax, gas and electricity payments which we are warned are coming....just at this moment life stinks!!!!!



Living in the sunny? Midlands, where the pork pies come from:

saving for a trip to Florida and NYC Spring 2008

Total so far £14.00!!
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Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    I have also just had a notification from Severn Trent that my DD has increased from £30.39 to £38.61. This is over 11 months - Mar to Jan incl - as it also was last year.

    However I did have a bill a few days before showing that I had incurred a debit balance of £53. My last couple of bills have estimated my useage at 172cu mtr pa; which is about right .

    There was a large increase in the tariff last year in April. As you continued to pay £14.51 you will amost certainly have run up a debit balance. Therefore your increase of £8.10 a month will be to cover the new increased charges and pay off the debit balance over this year.
  • We had a statement in October which did not show us in a debt situation, which is why I am very cross about this statement, I have tried to get in touch with them but all the lines to their CSD are engaged.



    Living in the sunny? Midlands, where the pork pies come from:

    saving for a trip to Florida and NYC Spring 2008

    Total so far £14.00!!
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Tootles,
    Severn Trent in my experience are about the best at calculating the Direct Debit payments accurately. Mine for 2006/7 is spot on – estimated consumption + £53 debit balance equates exactly the 11 DD payments they are due to take from me.

    Prices for Severn Trent metered water went up by approx 19% on 01 April 2005.
    Unless your £14.51 was an overpayment it is difficult to see how you didn’t build up a debit balance for 10 months consumption at the 19% higher new rates. The statement in October might not show a debit balance because the bill for consumption and direct debits payments do not always tally.

    If you know your consumption over the last year(in cubic metres) you should be able to calculate your exact bill for the last billing year.
  • It is almost impossible to read the meter, I have tried, its outside the back gate and down a deep hole, how they get to read it is a mystery to me, at 62 I am not into screwing around on the pavement trying to see the screen on the meter. I had asked for it to be put where it was easy to see, but the work was done shilst we were away on holiday 2 years ago.

    If the charges went up in April why were we not contacted and asked to review our DD payments?



    Living in the sunny? Midlands, where the pork pies come from:

    saving for a trip to Florida and NYC Spring 2008

    Total so far £14.00!!
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    at 62 I am not into screwing around on the pavement
    I should think not too - the very thought!!!
    If the charges went up in April why were we not contacted and asked to review our DD payments
    Well the charges did go up, and very few utility firms do increase their DD mid term I am afraid. I suppose that having told customers what the DD would be for the following year, some would be upset if they increased the DD; a no win situation perhaps.

    However I am not responsible for Severn Trent; merely trying to give you an explanation for your increase in DD.
  • hjb123hjb123 Forumite
    32K Posts
    I dont think that they can alter the direct debit payments without your say so? I would check this with your bank though! Have you been paying the same amounts each month until now?
    Weight Loss - 102lb
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    hjb123 wrote:
    I dont think that they can alter the direct debit payments without your say so? I would check this with your bank though! Have you been paying the same amounts each month until now?

    This seems to be a popular misunderstanding about Direct Debits.

    If it is a Standing Order they cannot alter it as you instruct your bank.

    If you look at the DD scheme the whole point is that they can increase the amount they take from your bank on a DD - the purpose of the system is for payments that will vary. What they must do is inform you what they intend to take. but you give them the authority to vary payments when you sign the DD mandate.

    I pay a whole host of direct debits. The utility companies tend to be fixed for a year ahead and I am informed if there is to be a change in the amount.

    Others - Sky, One Tel, Credit cards(I pay in full each month) deduct a different sum each month.
  • hjb123hjb123 Forumite
    32K Posts
    Yeah but we have a Direct Debit for our electric for a set amount each month going out to british gas. Now not long since they were wanting to change it (multiply it alot) and we said no. We rang our bank and she said no they couldnt do this
    Weight Loss - 102lb
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    hjb123 wrote:
    Yeah but we have a Direct Debit for our electric for a set amount each month going out to british gas. Now not long since they were wanting to change it (multiply it alot) and we said no. We rang our bank and she said no they couldnt do this

    I am not clear what point you are trying to make above.

    The whole purpose of most Direct Debits is that you authorise an organisation to deduct money from your account and they can vary this if required. You don't sign a fresh direct debit each time charges increase or decrease.

    So of course they can change the amount. Obviously under the Direct Debit guarantee you have to be notified of an increase in advance(14 days) and you can either negotiate with the company or instruct your bank to cancel the Direct Debit.

    Many of us have had Direct Debits for phone, gas, electricity, water, Sky, Insurance premiums, credit cards, Council Tax etc for many years. Are you suggesting that these Direct Debits remain fixed at the same sum as they were 10 or more years ago and can't be increased?
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
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    hjb123 wrote:
    Yeah but we have a Direct Debit for our electric for a set amount each month going out to british gas. Now not long since they were wanting to change it (multiply it alot) and we said no. We rang our bank and she said no they couldnt do this

    I am not clear what point you are trying to make above.

    The whole purpose of most Direct Debits is that you authorise an organisation to deduct money from your account and they can vary this if required. You don't sign a fresh direct debit each time charges increase or decrease.

    So of course they can change the amount. Obviously under the Direct Debit guarantee you have to be notified of an increase in advance(14 days) and you can either negotiate with the company or instruct your bank to cancel the Direct Debit.

    Many of us have had Direct Debits for phone, gas, electricity, water, Sky, Insurance premiums, Council Tax etc for many years. Are you suggesting that these Direct Debits remain fixed at the same sum they were 10 or more years ago and can't be increased?
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