Meter installed 4 years later - where do I stand with backdated payments?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
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LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
I am with Welsh Water and applied for a water meter back in April 2005. I was told that they were unable to fit a meter "because my pipework arrangements will not facilitate meter installation". I was then put on an assessed charge.

I did chase this up but got nowhere. I have however asked for a meter every year since (when the annual bill details come out) and Welsh Water still said that my property is not suitable.

I recently discovered that a number of properties in the street have meters and chased Welsh Water up again about this. This time I wrote to the complaints department and asked them to set out the exact reasons for unsuitablility etc.

To cut a long story short I had a meter fitted yesterday. As I initially requested a meter 4 years ago I cannot see how Welsh Water can maintain that it was unsuitable then but is now (no upgrading works have taken place).

How do I go about having the new meter readings (which I assume will need to take a few months) backdated to approximate usage of 4 years ago?

Welsh Water also produce a pamphlet called 'Our commitment to you' - http://www.dwrcymru.co.uk/English/library/publications/OurCommitment/English.pdf
It states on the 2nd page, under automatic payments, that they will pay £20 per month if they do not fit the meter within 3 months of receiving my signed application. Does this mean I can claim circa £940 from them for not adhering to their own published commitments?

Thanks
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Replies

  • Llyllyll wrote: »
    I am with Welsh Water and applied for a water meter back in April 2005. I was told that they were unable to fit a meter "because my pipework arrangements will not facilitate meter installation". I was then put on an assessed charge.

    I did chase this up but got nowhere. I have however asked for a meter every year since (when the annual bill details come out) and Welsh Water still said that my property is not suitable.

    I recently discovered that a number of properties in the street have meters and chased Welsh Water up again about this. This time I wrote to the complaints department and asked them to set out the exact reasons for unsuitablility etc.

    To cut a long story short I had a meter fitted yesterday. As I initially requested a meter 4 years ago I cannot see how Welsh Water can maintain that it was unsuitable then but is now (no upgrading works have taken place).

    How do I go about having the new meter readings (which I assume will need to take a few months) backdated to approximate usage of 4 years ago?

    Welsh Water also produce a pamphlet called 'Our commitment to you' - http://www.dwrcymru.co.uk/English/library/publications/OurCommitment/English.pdf
    It states on the 2nd page, under automatic payments, that they will pay £20 per month if they do not fit the meter within 3 months of receiving my signed application. Does this mean I can claim circa £940 from them for not adhering to their own published commitments?

    Thanks

    Hi Llyllyl,

    Some water companies do use independent contractor to assess the feasibility of having a meter. Do you know whether the company is still using the same contractor or they simply sent out their own inspector? Do you still keep any record that they simply refused to install a meter four years ago for the reason you stated above? The reason I'm asking is that, this is a very tricky one.

    You said that you've complaint to Welsh Water and installed a meter yesterday. This is a first stage complaint. I would suggest you to continue and complaint to determine your rights in this issue, but please get CCW involve in this context as it seems very complicated and you may not get any joy going back to the company again. You can send your complaint details to them using this online form and get a manager to discuss this further: http://www.ccwater.org.uk/server.php?show=ConForm.4. You may stand a good chance for claiming the money back, as the Statute of Limitation Act 1980 allows you to claim any money backdate up to six years.

    About your last point of claiming 20 pounds for the past few years, I do not think it's the route that you can take. The payment is regulated by Ofwat under the Guaranteed Standard Scheme Regulation. The company will only be required to pay for the current charging year, say today you apply for a meter and in September 2009 they still haven't installed one for you. You can only be entitled for 20 pounds on one ocassion.

    Having said that, get in touch with CCW as you may stand a good chance of claiming the money back. You're the victim of unfortunate situation that you didnt make and Welsh Water certainly needs to look into this into more detail.

    Hope this helps and good luck, keep us posted! :)
    I used to be part of the water industry. If you need any advice, feel free to ask me :A
  • LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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    Thanks for the reply.

    This time they sent out their own inspector but am not sure who they used 4 years ago.

    I do still keep the record of the reason they simply refused to install a meter four years ago which can be used to support my version of events. I have asked Welsh Water for details of their compensation scheme and payments but don't hold out much hope as it's the second time I've had to ask.

    I will get in touch with the CCW anyway and see what they advise and will post back as it may help others in a similar situation.
  • Llyllyll wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply.

    This time they sent out their own inspector but am not sure who they used 4 years ago.

    I do still keep the record of the reason they simply refused to install a meter four years ago which can be used to support my version of events. I have asked Welsh Water for details of their compensation scheme and payments but don't hold out much hope as it's the second time I've had to ask.

    I will get in touch with the CCW anyway and see what they advise and will post back as it may help others in a similar situation.

    No probs Llyllyl - happy to help. I'm glad you still keep your correspondence with you. You can send a copy of those correspondence to CCW too and they will take your complaint and do all the hardwork on your behalf. After you've done so, just relax and hope for the best result. Good luck:cool:
    I used to be part of the water industry. If you need any advice, feel free to ask me :A
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    You have already had a discount as you were on an assessed charge ?


    As you have just had it fitted i would suggest wating a few weeks rather than steaming in and complaining everywhere just incase you are paying more than the assesed charge, you need to check your consumption usage.
  • LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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    I do intend waiting for a few weeks for the full response from Welsh Water before contacting CCW for the very reason you state. I believe ventriloquist was just explaining that the CCW are there, and are very helpful, if they are needed.
    You have already had a discount as you were on an assessed charge?

    I can't agree with you there. I may have been paying less than those who are on the standard RV charge howver I have been paying a lot more than others in my street, whose circumstances are very similar to mine, who are on a meter.
  • LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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    Just had two letters from Welsh Water:
    • One stating that they had transferred any balance from the 'assessed charge' account to the 'water meter' account.
    • The other stating that they have set the monthly direct debit at £32. This is £3 more p/m than the current assessed charge and after only one week. What the hell is this based on :mad:?
    I have taken the reading after one week and it showed we used 2.4 units (over 7 days).

    I have still not received any details of their compensation scheme and payments and the longer this charade goes on the more likely I am to involve the CCW.
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    Llyllyll wrote: »
    [*]The other stating that they have set the monthly direct debit at £32. This is £3 more p/m than the current assessed charge and after only one week. What the hell is this based on :mad:?

    [/LIST]I have taken the reading after one week and it showed we used 2.4 units (over 7 days).
    .

    They have to start somewhere dont they ?

    Have you rang them up and gave them your weeks usage they should be able to work out your average over the year so you can set the DD correctly
  • LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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    Yes, I agree that they have to start somewhere but it appears as though this is some arbitrary figure devised by Welsh Water.

    I haven't given them the meter reading yet as I was more then willing to wait a while so that that average usage could be calculated over a reasonable period (say a few months).

    What I am surprised at is that they've set my DD higher than the assessed charge that I was on and as I have not given them the meter reading I think it is perfectly reasonable to question the basis of the DD amount.

    Deanos, are you connected to Welsh Water or any other water company in any way?
  • deanosdeanos Forumite
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    I dont know what system they use, probably the assessed charge information + some extra amount as there has been a price rise thats just come into effect :(

    Give them a ring with your reading so they can make the payment more suitable :D
  • LlyllyllLlyllyll Forumite
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    It's been some time since my last update but I now have a couple of months meter readings to refer to.

    My wife and I (there are just the 2 of us) are out all day, 5 days per week. We have the usual standard appliances but no power shower or use of a garden hose etc.

    My 2 months meter readings are approx 10 cubic metres a month (and we were away for 1 week this month). This seems high to me considering Welsh Water's estimate for 3+ people is only 119 cubic metres.

    I've carried out the 'turn everything off leak test' and all appears to be ok.

    What's going on here? Is our consumption unusually high?
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