Southern Water bully tactics!

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Mr_Ted
Mr_Ted Posts: 1,067 Forumite
I receive by water bill and ALWAYS pay by debit card, but sometimes there is a delay to allow funds to be in the bank!

Just in the last year or 2 i receive a phone call, roughly a week after i receive the bill, asking about the account, although they always ask for personal details and i NEVER give personal details to anyone over the phone, so the conversation never reaches a conclusion!
I have to assume its to demand payment :)

I personally consider this BULLYING of the worst kind, particularly as i am an old fart now :) but i always think about how others less able to handle the situation would feel being pressured and bullied.

Anyone else had this occur, and what do you feel about it?
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  • k3lvc
    k3lvc Posts: 4,174 Forumite
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    Mr_Ted wrote: »
    I receive by water bill and ALWAYS pay by debit card, but sometimes there is a delay to allow funds to be in the bank!

    Just in the last year or 2 i receive a phone call, roughly a week after i receive the bill, asking about the account, although they always ask for personal details and i NEVER give personal details to anyone over the phone, so the conversation never reaches a conclusion!
    I have to assume its to demand payment :)

    I personally consider this BULLYING of the worst kind, particularly as i am an old fart now :) but i always think about how others less able to handle the situation would feel being pressured and bullied.

    Anyone else had this occur, and what do you feel about it?

    So you pay late, are obstreperous on the phone and yet you consider they're bullying :rotfl:
  • Mr_Ted
    Mr_Ted Posts: 1,067 Forumite
    edited 10 June 2018 at 3:47PM
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    :) NO, i always pay, usually, within 2 weeks of recieving bill, but now they can wait a while :)


    Im perfectly polite over the phone, but as i dont know for sure it is who they say they are i do as evereyone should and keep my personal information to myself for reason of security, after all security works both ways ;)

    There are so many SCAM CALLERS YOU sure who you talk to when you receive a call ;)

    What i object to and consider bullying is the time factor, PLUS the fact they have never actually been given BY ME any personal details, or phone number :p
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  • matelodave
    matelodave Posts: 8,621 Forumite
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    You may wish to reconsider paying late as some water companies are reporting to the the credit reference agencies - you don't want to get a black mark just for the sake of a principle.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers
  • Mr_Ted
    Mr_Ted Posts: 1,067 Forumite
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    I have no need to worry about a credit rating as I DONT ever use loans!
    If i cant afford it i do without!

    People have forgotten these days how that works :)
    Just as they have forgotten about principles, I HAVENT :)
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  • CakeCrusader
    CakeCrusader Posts: 1,118 Forumite
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    Just be careful. Severn Trent, and probably others, like to take people to court for a CCJ if they pay their water bill late (a few months late, not massively late). They slap the court costs on top too, so you may end up paying far more than your late payment.
  • worried_jim
    worried_jim Posts: 11,631 Forumite
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    Mr_Ted wrote: »
    I have no need to worry about a credit rating as I DONT ever use loans!
    If i cant afford it i do without!

    People have forgotten these days how that works :)
    Just as they have forgotten about principles, I HAVENT :)

    Unfortunately you don't fit the typical 21st century customer profile and pay by direct debit. The water company will be set up to automatically chase payment after a period of time- this is you.

    To prevent this happening simply join the 21st century and pay by DD or put up with the phonecalls if you continue to be a late payer.
  • wavelets
    wavelets Posts: 1,164 Forumite
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    Mr_Ted wrote: »
    I have no need to worry about a credit rating as I DONT ever use loans!
    If i cant afford it i do without!

    People have forgotten these days how that works :)
    Just as they have forgotten about principles, I HAVENT :)

    Your credit rating doesn't only come into play for a loan application.
    It is used for a lot more than that.
    e..g. any credit account, such as gas or electric - those with credit meters have access to cheaper rates than those with PPMs
    A credit card account - it doesn't have to be used for long term borrowing. Credit cards are invaluable, particularly when wishing to hire a car or travelling abroad. With a cashback card, you can actually save money.
    A mobile phone contract
    If you want to buy a house, your prosecpective mortgage provider will definitely check it, ... and if you feel buying your own property will always be an impossibility, landlords/agents are increasing consulting prosective tenants credit histories before agreeing to give you the keys.
    Even banks sometimes do a credit check before agreeing to open an account for you.

    etc, etc, etc.

    It seems to me like you have forgotten some of the principles that have applied in this country for the last 40+ years...:cool:
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,038 Forumite
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    Mr_Ted wrote: »
    I receive by water bill and ALWAYS pay by debit card, but sometimes there is a delay to allow funds to be in the bank!

    Anyone else had this occur, and what do you feel about it?


    The Southern Water website, and literature sent with bill, clearly states that if the bill is not paid by the due date then recovery action could start.


    I have no need to worry about a credit rating as I DONT ever use loans!
    If i cant afford it i do without!

    People have forgotten these days how that works :)
    Just as they have forgotten about principles, I HAVENT :)


    Your 'principles' apparently include delaying payment of valid debts!
    By not paying your bill on time, you are effectively having an interest free loan from the company.


    Personally I feel that it is preferable to get a phone call from the company rather than them immediately handing the debt to a debt recovery agency.


    Whilst I understand the principle of not giving out personal details on the phone, Southern Water have your phone number(how did they get it?) your name and address, account number; and can get your bank details from previous debit card payments. Surely the only purpose of questions during the phone call is to check they are talking to 'Mr Ted' and not discussing personal information about debts to someone else.
  • Mr_Ted
    Mr_Ted Posts: 1,067 Forumite
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    Just be careful. Severn Trent, and probably others, like to take people to court for a CCJ if they pay their water bill late (a few months late, not massively late). They slap the court costs on top too, so you may end up paying far more than your late payment.


    Its never paid anywhere near that late!

    What i find disturbing is it arrives 2 weeks after the date on the bill and virtually the day of the due date, or as they put it "MUST be paid on" date.
    Thats a very demanding attitude that seems to only be applicable to THIS particular utility company that i have, plus the others dont phone to harrass!

    I can only assume that to some older people with limited incomes, this attitude would be quite frightening!
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  • Mr_Ted
    Mr_Ted Posts: 1,067 Forumite
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    Unfortunately you don't fit the typical 21st century customer profile and pay by direct debit. The water company will be set up to automatically chase payment after a period of time- this is you.

    To prevent this happening simply join the 21st century and pay by DD or put up with the phonecalls if you continue to be a late payer.


    Is that compulsary now then, I DONT THINK SO!

    MY finacial circumstances dictate what i can do, NOT any 21st Century Society!

    The very issue i have is there was little in the way of "period of time" and i dont consider a couple of days "a late payer"!


    Particularly from a company that was fined for overcharging, yet didnt reimburse anyone for that overcharging :p not that THAT is an influence in this case!


    BEING the 21st Century DOESNT mean it is better than any other time :mad:
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