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Trying to understand water bill

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Trying to understand water bill

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1socrates11socrates1 Forumite
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I was put onto a 12 month payment plan (total amount £276) of £23 starting on 4 November 2019 and ending 4 October 2020. But on Friday I received an email giving me an estimate (which was accurate) of my readings and saying that the outstanding amount of £196 would be normally paid with my £23 direct debit up to and including June 4. Then the balance seems to be coupled with a new 12 estimation of my usage at £366.92. My direct debit, from July 4, will be £49.

Surely Thames Water should let me old 12 month payment plan run its course and then start a new one in November? It feels as though I am paying for half a legacy plan and a new one at the same time. Another issue I have will managing this is that for most of the year I am a single occupant, but during this period of lockdown have had a relative staying with me and we have used a lot more water.


Thanks

Replies

  • SnowTigerSnowTiger Forumite
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    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    I was put onto a 12 month payment plan (total amount £276) of £23 starting on 4 November 2019 and ending 4 October 2020. But on Friday I received an email giving me an estimate (which was accurate) of my readings and saying that the outstanding amount of £196 would be normally paid with my £23 direct debit up to and including June 4. Then the balance seems to be coupled with a new 12 estimation of my usage at £366.92. My direct debit, from July 4, will be £49.

    Surely Thames Water should let me old 12 month payment plan run its course and then start a new one in November? It feels as though I am paying for half a legacy plan and a new one at the same time. Another issue I have will managing this is that for most of the year I am a single occupant, but during this period of lockdown have had a relative staying with me and we have used a lot more water. 
    Was the 12 month payment plan set up to pay off arrears?  If so, and you don't increase how much you pay, you won't begin paying your new £196 bill until November 2020.  You will always be 12 months in arrears.

    As for your relative: ask them to contribute towards your bills.  I'm surprised they haven't offered.
  • Diana2014Diana2014 Forumite
    33 posts
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    You do not have to allow the water company to take payment by direct debit, as long as you pay their bills promptly and pay off any accrued debt.

    You can tell Thames Water that you're cancelling the DD because you don't accept their estimate of future usage which, being based on a temporarily larger household, won't be at that rate indefinitely. They may argue - they want to keep the DD going, because it's good for their cash flow - but you don't have to wait for them to agree; you can just cancel the DD mandate to Thames Water by instructing your bank to stop making payments under it.

    But you will have to pay off the accrued debt now, if it's based on a formal bill. After that, you'll pay their usual six-monthly bills when those arrive; check the first one carefully, to ensure that it gives credit for payments already made by direct debit.
     
    Your relative should certainly help by paying you the excess over your usual usage of both water and energy etc; they can't expect you to fund them as well as housing them during lockdown. After all, they won't have had to pay such costs of their own while living with you.
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