Company misread low, now I'm being charged for a 'sudden increase' in usage

in Water bills
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SmortimeSmortime Forumite
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We're a couple in a 3 bed house, provided by United Utilities. We have historically (pre-pandemic) used ~260 litres per day. From May last year, due to their engineer making a misread on the metre, this estimate was changed to 90l per day. Admittedly this should have put alarms bells for them and for us, but it wasn't on my radar. My direct debit payment also did not decrease - it remained ~£39.

Last week I received an ominous letter saying our water usage was high. No further information or figures, simply that I should call. 

On doing so, this misread has come to light, and despite accruing a lot of credit (~£300, because the direct debit never lowered), I still owe ~£120. 

My question is, is this right? I feel their misread is the problem, and things should almost be reset from the now correct readings (that turns out their engineer took at start of June and I further provided one today), rather than being billed because they got the usage wrong. 

It's hard because I get that we have used the water, but they have made an error that we are now paying for. I'm lucky we do pay direct debit as it sort of evens all out, but if we didn't, the guy on the phones says the bill earlier in the year would have been <£100 and this one suddenly over £400! Again, because of their error. 

Any ground for disputing their charges due to their error? 


Thanks in advance.

Replies

  • spirospiro Forumite
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    Unfortunately I think the best you are likely to get is time to pay off the extra amount. There is always an option for a company to correct a billing error.
    IT Consultant in the utilities industry specialising in the retail electricity market.

    4 Credit Card and 1 Loan PPI claims settled for £26k, 1 rejected (Opus).
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    You are not 'paying for their error'; you are paying for the water you used.

    Had their error been the other way and you were £120 in credit, would you have suggested that credit should have been written off?
  • freeshafreesha Forumite
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    Cardew said:


    You are not 'paying for their error'; you are paying for the water you used.

    Had their error been the other way and you were £120 in credit, would you have suggested that credit should have been written off?

    THIS. x 1000
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