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Thames water wrong bill

in Water bills
15 replies 1.5K views
ruchit24ruchit24 Forumite
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We have had normal usage of water in our house for 4 years.Suddenly I saw a bill from TW 3 times more than expected and that too based on actual reading. I kept on asking TW to check for any leakage but they didn't send anyone for months. Looks like meter reader wasn't able to locate the water meter as I have moved the house stone to a different location (where water meter was supposed to be) and meter reader sent some very high and arbit reading to TW and they generated the bill stating that it's actual read. I tried my best and in between and got every thing checked from plumber and builder to spot any leakage. But today when I was able to locate the meter I could see that my current reading is even lesser than what was read as ACTUAL reading 8 months back. Please let me know if I am eligible for any compensation as I have spent lot of money in identifying the leak which wasn't there and cause lot of mental frustration, time and energy.
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  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.
    I doubt if you are 'eligble' for any compensation; although you could/should get a token goodwill payment; and of course next bill will be based on the correct meter reading. 
    The argument they can put forward is that you should have located and checked their meter reading meter 8 months ago; as normally stated in the small print
  • ruchit24ruchit24 Forumite
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    Thanks for your response. I have checked the water bill and it only says that if we think water meter is faulty, they will come and check it for you, but here issue is that thames water generated a bill saying that my Actual meter reading is 3 times more than my normal usage and taking more than 2.5 times the normal direct debit amount. I have been in touch with thames water since May this year to tell them that there is something wrong with the readings as I have got all leakage checked in my property by builder/plumber. How can I trust TW that they are reading the meter reading correctly.
  • freeshafreesha Forumite
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    Always do a flow test if you think the meter is wrong/there is a leak. Take reading; use NO water for several hours; read meter again.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    ruchit24 said:
     but here issue is that thames water generated a bill saying that my Actual meter reading is 3 times more than my normal usage and taking more than 2.5 times the normal direct debit amount. I have been in touch with thames water since May this year to tell them that there is something wrong with the readings as I have got all leakage checked in my property by builder/plumber. How can I trust TW that they are reading the meter reading correctly.
    I understand the situation. However for the inaccurate 'Actual' meter reading to be correct it would be a clear indication there was a leak after the meter, or a remote possibility of a faulty meter. The first thing you should have done was located the meter and carried out a flow test as indicated in the post above. I find it very difficult to understand how a competent plumber and builder didn't carry out that flow test and to carry that out they would have had to locate the meter; yet you didn't discover the location of the meter until yesterday.
    Clearly the meter reader was wrong in the first place, but it is prudent to check all gas/electricity/water meter readings against a bill; especially, as in your case, when there is an unexpectedly high reading.
    By all means try a claim against TW and go to The Consumer Council for Water https://www.ccwater.org.uk/ for advice.


  • tim_ptim_p Forumite
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    You are sure the meter you have found is yours??  Check by getting someone to turn a tap on and off and watch the little spinny thing stop and start as they turn the tap.
  • ruchit24ruchit24 Forumite
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    yes, I have confirmed that meter is indeed the water meter for my property.
    The whole issue here is that meter reader came to my property and couldn't locate the meter so he sent some arbit very high reading as ACTUAL to thames water and they have been charging very high amount based on "wrong" ACTUAL reading.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    ruchit24 said:
    yes, I have confirmed that meter is indeed the water meter for my property.
    The whole issue here is that meter reader came to my property and couldn't locate the meter so he sent some arbit very high reading as ACTUAL to thames water and they have been charging very high amount based on "wrong" ACTUAL reading.
    IMO it is not 'the whole issue' and you won't finish up out of pocket when the bill is re-issued, plus a probable modest goodwill payment.
    However your first post asked if you were elligble for compensation for mental frustration and presumably money spent on builder and plumber.
    You can obviously put in a claim to TW and take it to the Regulator  https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/regulated-companies/investigations/making-a-complaint/  if the claim is rejected. You can then go to the Small Claims court.  The usual requirement is to state and justify your financial loss. Given you, your builder and plumber should have immediately checked your meter before searching for a leak, that might be hard to justify.

    P.S if you manage to get any compensation for 'mental frustration' when dealing with a utility company please post it on this forum as there will be a few million of us who would use your case as a precedent. 



  • ruchit24ruchit24 Forumite
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    Thanks for the kind words and letting me know that utility company won't give any compensation. 
  • ruchit24ruchit24 Forumite
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    new update: In Spite of sending TW accurate meter reading, TW have generated a new bill within 28 days to request for more money as they generated the new bill on estimated reading.
  • freeshafreesha Forumite
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    That is standard... they bill you on estimate, you submit an actual, they then re-bill to the correct amount.
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