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Backdating Bill Rights

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bingo22bingo22 Forumite
1 posts
MoneySaving Newbie
Hi there - I'm looking for some advise with regards to my water bill having overpaid by quite a substantial amout over the past 12-months...

My partner and I live in a rented property which is unable to have a water meter due to it's location (we were told this by the landlord). Upon taking over the tenancy in Feb 2019 our fixed bill came in at a staggering £890 for 12-months.

We were recently made aware of the Assessed Charge Bill. Unfortunately we were not informed about this upon setting up our account with the water supplier. Having just spoken to the supplier our Assesed Charge Bill will come out to roughly £540 for 12-months... a £350 saving!!

I discussed the old bill with the supplier and they mentioned the possibility of backdating our bill, meaning the Assessed Charge would taked effect from the date we moved in. That said, the representative on the phone made very clear this would not be a guarantee and would be evaluated after we switch everything to the new Assessed Charge.

I'm quite annoyed with myself for not checking this sooner however I do also feel the supplier has a duty to inform the consumer of the various ways they can charge for our water. What rights would we have in the event the supplier refuses to backdate our bill? I fear we may just have to accept the loss however on the other hand if we had been UNDER paying by £350 it would be pretty much guaranteed they would chase us for the money.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and thanks so much for taking the time to read this!


  • JoannaAnnaJoannaAnna Forumite
    12 posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts
    Not sure who your supply is with but most water companies won't agree to backdated bills, especially if they've already got your money. If you look at the first bill they sent you when you moved in, you'll probably find a section saying you could save money by switching to a meter. With this and the info on their website, they'll likely take the position that they've fulfilled their duty and made the info available to you - but you didn't take any action to get yourself on a meter/ assessed household charge.
    If you called when you first moved in, the advisee should've mentioned meters to you , so it might be worth complaining to say you were never informed. Ultimately it will be down to them and you'll have little recourse. However, as they're unlikely to still have call recordings after a year, and complaints/referrals to Consumer Council For Water cost them more than the difference  you may have luck if you can convince them you wont let it drop
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    The 'trigger' for an assessed bill is to apply for a meter and only when the water company confirm a meter cannot be fitted will you be offered an assessed bill.
    You seem to think that a 'human' at the water company will be looking at your account. Unfortunately you are simply digits on the all seeing computer and the computer will, and did, send you the correct bill. Even when you apply for a meter, they might still physically check if one can be fitted - despite what the landlord states.
    Millions of people are paying incorrect charges, many for years, and provided the company have done nothing wrong they are not normally inclined to backdate.

    That said it is worth trying as advised in the post above.
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