Thames Water late payment fee?

Is it legal for Thames Water to charge a fee for late payment? Do other utility companies do this?

I normally pay my bills as they come in (bi annually in Thames Water's case) i usually pay them fairly promptly.

Now TW want to charge me £18.18 for late payment how do they arrive at this figure? it was an estimated bill but when i gave them my water meter reading it was vastly over estimated and over £100 was knocked off... the £18.18 fee still remained though...

i refused to pay it, especially if it was based on percentage of a hugely over estimated bill.

Can anyone clairfy their system for late payment fees? I can't seem to find any information on their website

Comments

  • I don't know the answer to your query, but of interest, how late were you in paying (or how late did TW claim you were)?
  • keltbrat
    keltbrat Posts: 100 Forumite
    Oh it was no more than a month, i'd say... It was last year, but all bills i've received since then have asked for this £18.18 late payment fee.... every time i've refused to pay it and just deduct it from my final bill.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    keltbrat wrote: »
    Is it legal for Thames Water to charge a fee for late payment? Do other utility companies do this?

    I normally pay my bills as they come in (bi annually in Thames Water's case) i usually pay them fairly promptly.

    Now TW want to charge me £18.18 for late payment how do they arrive at this figure? it was an estimated bill but when i gave them my water meter reading it was vastly over estimated and over £100 was knocked off... the £18.18 fee still remained though...

    i refused to pay it, especially if it was based on percentage of a hugely over estimated bill.

    Can anyone clairfy their system for late payment fees? I can't seem to find any information on their website


    It is certainly legal to charge for late payment.


    https://www.lovetts.co.uk/blog/late-payment-charges-what-you-need-to-know


    The above article quotes an Act of Parliament.

    When the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 was introduced it had two clear purposes.
    The first was to ensure that creditors were properly compensated for the late payment of any debts,

    How much interest can I charge for a late payment?

    Interest rates are set to a standard rate twice per year for a six-month period. From January 1st until June 30th, then from July 1st until December 31st.
    The standard rate is set at 8% above the bank of England’s base rate at the start of each time period mentioned,


    I am no lawyer so the above is simply taken from the internet. My understanding was always that a company could charge the cost of 'chasing' payment.


    Don't forget the possible effect on your credit rating.
  • keltbrat
    keltbrat Posts: 100 Forumite
    Cardew wrote: »
    It is certainly legal to charge for late payment.


    https://www.lovetts.co.uk/blog/late-payment-charges-what-you-need-to-know


    The above article quotes an Act of Parliament.








    I am no lawyer so the above is simply taken from the internet. My understanding was always that a company could charge the cost of 'chasing' payment.


    Don't forget the possible effect on your credit rating.


    Thanks for the info.
  • Biscuit_Tin
    Biscuit_Tin Posts: 782
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    edited 7 November 2018 at 11:45PM
    keltbrat wrote: »
    Thanks for the info.

    Are you purchasing as a business?

    Because what Cardew states only relates to B2B contracts

    As the article states:
    Basically, the debt has to have arisen from some sort of business transaction. Personal transactions don’t apply.
    Or in the words of the statute:
    2(1) This Act applies to a contract for the supply of goods or services where the purchaser and the supplier are each acting in the course of a business, other than an excepted contract.
    If you are not a business, then in relation to your question "Is it legal for Thames Water to charge a fee for late payment?" the answer is still probably yes, but only if it stated in the terms you agreed to. (including any additional charges they may refer to)
    If you cannot identify the relevant term the supplier now seeks to rely upon, I'm sure they will explain it to you if you ask them
  • CakeCrusader
    CakeCrusader Posts: 1,118 Forumite
    Just be very careful. The water companies often seek CCJ's for unpaid bills (of any amount, not just a full years bill) so this could cost you far more then £18.80.
  • giraffe69
    giraffe69 Posts: 3,546
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    I'd write to them (pen & ink) to ask them how they established the late payment fee and when you get a reply make a decision as to whether to pay or not.
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