Ongoing issue with Castle water - backdated charges

I used to be a Thames Water customer for the water supply to my stable yard/water trough and then my account was sold to Thames Water. I have been keeping animals on this land for 20+ years so I know what the water usage is likely to be. There was an issue with a meter, which was subsequently replaced, then there was a leak so a leak allowance was applied and I thought we were all straight. In 2020 I then received a bill that was nearly £2k and I went from pillar to post trying to get it resolved. Their bills are utterly incomprehensible! The amount that I was being billed for was for more than the units used between the actual reads and eventually it transpired that the vast majority of it related to water usage that dated back to 2016 because although I had been paying bills (on a DD at that time), it was for charges only and not water usage. I put in a formal complaint and requested to know what their process was for dealing with this kind of huge debt as the timing could not be worse with my husband's business being destroyed thanks to the pandemic. The response I received was very unsatisfactory and they said that their meter readers had tried & failed to locate and read the meter - it hasn't moved in the decades they have been reading it and some of their engineers seem to manage just find! I didn't follow up on their last very lacklustre response as I have had a lot going on...... and now it has been passed to debt collection and the costs are mounting. How do I deal with this as I simply don't have the money to pay it all off very swiftly :(

Comments

  • pochase
    pochase Posts: 3,449
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    Find some information here.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/water/water-supply/problems-with-paying-your-water-bill/backdated-water-bills/#:~:text=Water companies are entitled to,the existence of your property.

    Water bills don't seem to have any backfilling rule like energy bills, so everything legit can be charged for the last six years.

    Even if it was the fault of the supplier you can only ask for a payment plan.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    LCH611 said:
    I used to be a Thames Water customer for the water supply to my stable yard/water trough and then my account was sold to Thames Water. I have been keeping animals on this land for 20+ years so I know what the water usage is likely to be. There was an issue with a meter, which was subsequently replaced, then there was a leak so a leak allowance was applied and I thought we were all straight. In 2020 I then received a bill that was nearly £2k and I went from pillar to post trying to get it resolved. Their bills are utterly incomprehensible! The amount that I was being billed for was for more than the units used between the actual reads and eventually it transpired that the vast majority of it related to water usage that dated back to 2016 because although I had been paying bills (on a DD at that time), it was for charges only and not water usage. I put in a formal complaint and requested to know what their process was for dealing with this kind of huge debt as the timing could not be worse with my husband's business being destroyed thanks to the pandemic. The response I received was very unsatisfactory and they said that their meter readers had tried & failed to locate and read the meter - it hasn't moved in the decades they have been reading it and some of their engineers seem to manage just find! I didn't follow up on their last very lacklustre response as I have had a lot going on...... and now it has been passed to debt collection and the costs are mounting. How do I deal with this as I simply don't have the money to pay it all off very swiftly :(

    Presumably 'sold to 'Thames Water' should read 'sold to Castle water.'

    Unfortunately Castle water supplies commercial customers not domestic customers and you have a business contract without any of the few protections afforded to domestic users.

    The company can also cut off water supply to a defaulting business.

    From your post it appears that you are not disputing that you have used the water and thus the debt is valid, but you are unhappy with their procedures.Most Debt collection Agencies(DCA) are not very sympathetic, but you might get them to agree a lower figure for prompt settlement.

    Failing that it will be have to be settled by court action, and from what you have written you do not appear to have a good defence to any case put forward. 

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