United Utillities Arrears Allowance Scheme


Wonder if anyone can help, in 2014 United Utillities offered me the option of joining the arrears scheme due to an outstanding bill.
I got into further difficulties couldn't afford to pay and was taken off the scheme. In August 2014 I contacted them to reset the direct debit up and to go back on the scheme.
I knew I was moving out of the property in June 2015 so I set the monthly direct debit up for an amount which in the end would total half the amount owed by the time we moved out then UU would match it and the bill would be cleared.
This saga is still going on as they informed me that I wasn't on the scheme at all so I was paying for my usage monthly but not clearing any of the debt which is just odd where is the logic there??
UU won't send me a recording of the call to prove I went back on the scheme and I'm now stuck with a huge bill again.
I can't go on the scheme again as I don't live at the property anymore so I'm wondering where I stand and is there anything I can do?

Any advice much appreciated



  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post Rampant Recycler
    edited 21 March 2016 at 7:56PM
    The scheme is covered here:

    Arrears allowance scheme

    We recognise that the current economic climate and growing rates of unemployment are making it increasingly difficult for people to meet their financial commitments, and we want to provide assistance during these difficult times by helping you to pay your water bill.

    The Arrears Allowance Scheme provides a fantastic opportunity for you to bring your water account back up to date and hopefully get you back on track with paying your bill.

    The scheme has 2 tiers which means for your first 6 months on the scheme we will match your payments £1 for £1, provided you pay in line with the payment plan we set for you. After 6 months and then for every payment you make thereafter, as long as you continue to make payments in line with the payment plan, we will match every £1 you pay with a £2 allowance to your account until the arrears are cleared.

    This scheme is not applicable to all customers; however each customer is individually assessed. Eligibility for the scheme is dependant on the level of your arrears at the time of your application.

    Am I eligible for the Arrears Allowance?

    To be eligible for the Arrears Allowance Scheme you must:-
    •Be able to cover your weekly / monthly ongoing water charges
    •Metered Customers – At least two full measured bills unpaid
    •Unmetered Customers – Current year’s charges are unpaid and at least one further full year’s charges remain unpaid.
    •Not have successfully completed the Arrears Allowance scheme before.

    If you think you may qualify and want to be considered for our Arrears Allowance Scheme please contact us on our freephone number 0800 072 6765.
    The scheme specifically states that they(UU) set a payment plan, after individual assessment, to which you must keep to be eligible. Thus you setting the 'monthly direct debit up for an amount which in the end would total half the amount owed by the time we moved out' isn't in accordance with the scheme. If it were allowed it would mean that having got into difficulty once you have Carte Blanche to pay half price water charges for ever.

    You ask 'where is the logic'? It seems to me that you have misunderstood. Surely when you left the scheme it takes more than a phone call to get back on the scheme and they would set up, and let you know in writing, a payment plan which would entail you eventually paying off arrears, albeit with some help after 6 months. The plan you devised yourself, as said earlier, simply means paying half price water charges.
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