Can I challenge my water bill?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
4 replies 3.2K views
CharlotteLOCharlotteLO Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
I pay my water bill by monthly direct debit and receive regular statements. I recently received two bills stating that my usage has been underestimated for the period 10th November 2015 to 8th May 2017 and that my direct debit is being increased from £16:00 per month to £100:50 per month from 1st January 2018. I live on my own and work full-time so am only at home during the evenings and weekends.


The water company haven't confirmed whether the amount has been calculated according to an accurate meter reading and they haven't given any indication how long this increased charge will be effective for.


Do I have any rights to challenge this significant increase or do I have to accept the new monthly payment?


Thank you.

Replies

  • edited 4 December 2017 at 2:17PM
    matelodavematelodave Forumite
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    edited 4 December 2017 at 2:17PM
    Have you been checking your bills/statements against actual meter readings and getting them corrected if they are wrong.

    Rake out a previous bill or two to see if they were based on estimates so you can find out the last time it was actually read. You could easily be a couple of hundred pounds short if it hasn't been read for two years

    You should never accept an estimated bill. I assume that you've now got an updated bill based on an actual meter reading - go out and check your meter to see whether it corresponds with the reading on the bill.

    If you've used the water and not been paying enough for it then of course you'll have to pay the increase but it's worth checking that the bill is for your meter and that you haven't got a leak somewhere.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.

    Presumably that increased DD is for 3 months(possibly 4) to pay off any debit balance by April 1st when the new 'charging year' starts.

    That would indicate a current debit balance of around £250 which has been build up since Nov 2015(or even earlier)
  • Just to let everyone know that I am currently querying with my water supplier as to why they have used an 'estimated' reading when they receive an automated smart meter reading from the meter. The estimate is grossly over-exaggerated, as I am a single-person household. If this is happening to lots of other people then these companies could be raking in a fortune.
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Can you read the meter and give them an accurate reading? Have you asked them if the increase is to cover previous underpayment?
    I'm not a cat.
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