Recieving bills from another water supplier.

Will try keep this breif. I rent a small commercial unit, I pay water and sewage to a company called aimera. No issues there, meter read regularly, prices reasonable, pleasant on the phone etc.

However another company took to sending me a bill for water useage pre-dating this. A company I have never delt with or spoken too. Infact first correspondence was addressed to "the occupier" and was a "final demand" IIRC this was for about £60 or so. not a lot. anyway as I have never dealt with them I presumed the bill was perhaps for a previous tennant and ignored it. The "final demands" kept coming so I called a few times to explain that I do not use them for my water, people were plesant enough on the phone, but the bills kept coming, now we are up to ~£300 due to charges and admin fees and they have changed from addressing "the occupier" to my actual name, although the fore and surname are both spelled wrong! I later found out they had called several local businesses asking for the name of the tenant here.

Anyways, long and short is clearly they are going to keep adding charges and fees and more charges untill this bill is settled, is this buisness practice actually legal? Will anything happen to me if I keep ignoring it?

Sorry for this as a first post but only been in buisnes a year and a half and very much finding my feet, any help, even "google this that and the next thing newbie" would be a help.

Comments

  • samsmoot
    samsmoot Posts: 736 Forumite
    As a start you should ask for a copy of the contract or agreement they would need in order to show that you actually do owe them money.


    Send a stern letter saying put up or shut up is my suggestion. Get back on here once you have done that, or for help with a letter.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    You could also try phoning the Consumer Council for Water http://www.ccwater.org.uk/ They should be able to clarify the situation and deal with the matter.


    Make sure you have all facts to hand - when you occupied, payments to Aimera etc
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    You can only have a single water supplier, unless you are in Scotland and a commercial user-is that the case?
    http://www.scotlandontap.gov.uk/suppliers/
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • I am in Scotland and a commercial user (its a garage, water for toilet and handwashing).

    Just received a new bill this morning with another £100 "recovery charge".

    I should add they have not charged me for water use since taking up the contract with amera, what I am being charged for is water useage prior to that. Took aprx 6 weeks from signing the lease to move out of my previous unit(was trading from there) and transfer equipment, I used the toilet 2 or 3 times, bit lazy not setting up my utilities until I was here full time, but was simply dumping boxes during that period. Didn't even turn on a light. I have no issue back paying for the small useage I had, but like I say I am not paying some random company who took to sending me a final demand out of the blue, who I have never dealt with before, I cant imagine any sane person would. Will take the advice here and draft up a letter, my concern is due to the underhand billing tactics so far any such letter could be used as some kind of admission of services received making me actually liable for these insane charges.

    I'v only been self employed a few years now so still a lot to learn. :(
  • macman
    macman Posts: 52,955
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    edited 22 March 2016 at 11:15AM
    You were presumably then in a deemed contract with the existing supplier from the date you signed the lease, and it was your responsibility to register with them at that time, as with the other utilities. They are entitled to bill you for standing charges and usage (which I presume is metered) from the start of the lease (whether you were in occupation or not) until the date you switched to aimera. I have no idea if the billing is correct or not on commercial rates, but £60 does not sound unreasonable for a period of 6 weeks plus. The problem now is disputing the additional charges. If you ignore the bills as you have done until now, then you will have a default recorded and your credit record will be trashed for 6 years, unless the system is different in Scotland. It will also depend if the recovery is directed to you personally or to your limited company, if you have one.
    I would at very least pay the original £60 while you remain in dispute. Once the debt goes to a DCA, the costs will escalate rapidly.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Thankyou. Called today paid the balance on water /standing charges which was £240odd. (was a little out in my guestimate!)theres another ~£200 in late charges which i am now on hold to start disputing.

    Like I say have no issue paying for what I use, this buisness model is really shady tho, think i'll check the tyres and brakes (visually) on all the cars in the area and leave an invoice under the wiper for my time. im sure everyone will pay.:rotfl:
  • For closure, got a very pleasant person on the phone, they wrote off the charges, today a new bill fell on my floor showing credit to offset charges and £0 outstanding. Was holding back on posting this untill I had it in writing. but there you go. problem solved. :T
  • tamimurphy
    tamimurphy Posts: 15 Forumite
    Get in touch with your contractor and explain him the situation.
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