Requested Water Meter on Moving but no Record of it, what do we do?

I am in an odd situation and was wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar.

We have been paying £630 a year on our water bill even though there are only two of us living in our house. The estimate based on medium usage suggests it should be about half that amount.

I understand from reading other forum posts that it is essentially "tough luck" if you haven't requested a water meter when you should have and you just have to pay the Rateable Value of the property.

What makes our situation different is that on moving into our house we DID request a that a water meter be fitted. Someone came from the water company and inspected our property but told us that a meter couldn't be fitted. We were never given the option at the time to move to an assessed charge and so we thought we were just stuck with paying the £630 a year.

It is only now (3.5 years later) that I have realised that we should have been offered an assessed charge. The problem is that the water company are denying all knowledge of our request to have a water meter fitted and I can't find any evidence to back up our side of the story.

The water company have offered us £100 as a goodwill gesture but have said that they don't really have to refund us anything since there is no evidence of us requesting the water meter or anyone having visited our house.

My thoughts at the moment are that we are basically stuck and should just cut our losses and take the £100. Has anyone had similar difficulties of the water company not having record of you requesting a meter?

Comments

  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Seems strange that you have been offered a goodwill gesture.

    If there was correspondence about inspection and outcome, it might be worth contacting the Consumer Council for Water https://www.ccwater.org.uk/aboutus/how-we-help-you/ and ask them to put some pressure on the water company to search their records more thoroughly.

    Incidentally there is no financial incentive for the water company to deny your claim.
  • Shandz
    Shandz Posts: 36 Forumite
    Cardew wrote: »
    Incidentally there is no financial incentive for the water company to deny your claim.

    I don't understand how this works, why would it not cost them to give us a refund of some sort?

    We don't think there was any correspondence as it was done over the phone. I had found the Consumer Council for Water online but thought that you had to go through the water company's complaints procedure first, I wonder if I can talk to them.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    edited 23 January 2018 at 8:57AM
    Shandz wrote: »
    I don't understand how this works, why would it not cost them to give us a refund of some sort?

    We don't think there was any correspondence as it was done over the phone. I had found the Consumer Council for Water online but thought that you had to go through the water company's complaints procedure first, I wonder if I can talk to them.

    You can certainly phone the Consumer Council, your water company might have phone records; it would help if you could give approx dates.

    Re financial incentive, you would need to understand the financing of all UK water companies.

    In very simplistic terms the water companies are regulated by Ofwat. They authorise the revenue they can raise from charges and the profit they can make provided they meet certain set targets.

    Thus if, say, 1,000 customers get a meter and each pay £200 less in charges the company receives £200k less in revenue. However they are allowed to slightly increase charges to their millions of other customers to raise the same authorised £xxx million revenue.

    If that were not the case, why would companies be compelled by the Regulator to fit meters free of charge when most of these customers would pay less in water charges?
  • t0rt0ise
    t0rt0ise Posts: 4,202
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    When I asked for a meter to be fitted, they came out, said they could not do it and gave me a form with the reasons on it. Did you not get similar? Without that you will have no proof.
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