Seven Trent- Over Paying and credit reference hi jinxs

in Water Bills
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MckennaMckenna Forumite
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Hopefully someone has advice or experience of similar.

I am on a water meter with seven Trent, billed every 6 months.
when I get my bills I go online and make monthly payments (40) so my bill is clear in 4 months… leaving 2 months till the next bill. I assumed this would be fine…

I have noticed that they have reported to credit agencies that my account was in arrears for 2 months….on querying this they don’t take online payments into account and if I want them to not do it they want to hold me to ransom at a direct debit price of £40 per month over the 12 months… which will lead to me overpaying them by £140 which is money I could better use on other rising bills!

I don’t want to be trapped into overpaying but I also don’t want them impact my credit score which I am rebuilding… surely it can’t be right that they don’t take into account online payments!
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  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    Mckenna said:
    Hopefully someone has advice or experience of similar.

    I am on a water meter with seven Trent, billed every 6 months.
    when I get my bills I go online and make monthly payments (40) so my bill is clear in 4 months… leaving 2 months till the next bill. I assumed this would be fine…

    I have noticed that they have reported to credit agencies that my account was in arrears for 2 months….on querying this they don’t take online payments into account and if I want them to not do it they want to hold me to ransom at a direct debit price of £40 per month over the 12 months… which will lead to me overpaying them by £140 which is money I could better use on other rising bills!

    I don’t want to be trapped into overpaying but I also don’t want them impact my credit score which I am rebuilding… surely it can’t be right that they don’t take into account online payments!
    I don't understand this - I'm with ST on a Smart meter  installed 3 years ago.  The estimate  for the type of household was spot on  -  well within £20. I pay by monthly DD.

    If you are getting an exact bill why not simply pay the £160 or whatever it is up front.


    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • edited 20 April at 4:12PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 20 April at 4:12PM
    With respect, you appear to want to have your cake and eat it too!

    With a metered bill of £160, when you don't pay by Direct Debit, you owe them £160, and that is due immediately. However like most companies you have a finite time to settle that bill and you, as a customer, cannot decide you will pay that bill over a four month period. When you have made your first payment of £40 you are still £120 in debt etc etc

    Whilst you don't want to 'overpay'; Severn Trent are, understandably, not happy with you 'underpaying'!

    If for some reason you don't want to pay by Direct Debit, or pay your bill in full when you receive it, you can set up a payment plan. However this will be for 12 payments. see https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/regular-payments/payment-plans/

  • edited 21 April at 10:10AM
    Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    edited 21 April at 10:10AM
    I've had a STW meter for 20+ years and the requested monthly payments have always been within £10 of the actual annual cost. Are you a new customer or have you had a meter for less than a year?  Have you tried phoning them?
    Getting funky on the scene
  • MckennaMckenna Forumite
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    Cardew said:
    With respect, you appear to want to have your cake and eat it too!

    With a metered bill of £160, when you don't pay by Direct Debit, you owe them £160, and that is due immediately. However like most companies you have a finite time to settle that bill and you, as a customer, cannot decide you will pay that bill over a four month period. When you have made your first payment of £40 you are still £120 in debt etc etc

    If for some reason you don't want to pay by Direct Debit, or pay your bill in full when you receive it, you can set up a payment plan. However this will be for 12 payments. see https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/regular-payments/payment-plans/

    So even if I set up the direct debit it’s still 41 a month… every month for 12 months the bill would still take 4 months to be paid regardless. Why should you be punished opting to not pay them by DD in the same time frame? 

    There is a small margin of error but £160 for 6 months, then the same for the following 6 clearly is £320. 
    To pay 41 for 12 months is £492 that clearly doesn’t add up. 

    As to the credit file stuff I’m not missing payments, payments are made… so how is it right they say I’ve missed them just because they aren’t via DD?
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    @Mckenna Have you spoken to ST ?  


    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Does the £41 monthly payment include what they consider a debt as you've failed to pay the 6 monthly bill within their timescale?
    Getting funky on the scene
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Mckenna said:
    Cardew said:
    With respect, you appear to want to have your cake and eat it too!

    With a metered bill of £160, when you don't pay by Direct Debit, you owe them £160, and that is due immediately. However like most companies you have a finite time to settle that bill and you, as a customer, cannot decide you will pay that bill over a four month period. When you have made your first payment of £40 you are still £120 in debt etc etc

    If for some reason you don't want to pay by Direct Debit, or pay your bill in full when you receive it, you can set up a payment plan. However this will be for 12 payments. see https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/regular-payments/payment-plans/

    So even if I set up the direct debit it’s still 41 a month… every month for 12 months the bill would still take 4 months to be paid regardless. Why should you be punished opting to not pay them by DD in the same time frame? 

    There is a small margin of error but £160 for 6 months, then the same for the following 6 clearly is £320. 
    To pay 41 for 12 months is £492 that clearly doesn’t add up. 

    As to the credit file stuff I’m not missing payments, payments are made… so how is it right they say I’ve missed them just because they aren’t via DD?

    You are making the wrong assumption. It is not 'in the same time frame'

    With a direct debit you are paying during the 12 months you are receiving water. So at the end of the 12 month period, if the Direct Debit is set correctly, your balance will be zero.


    In your case you have elected to pay on receipt of a bill so at the end of the 6 month period you are in debt on the account by the amount of the bill(£160 in your case) which should be paid immediately. You appear to have decided yourself at the rate you will pay back the debt( 4 months in your case) That is understandably not acceptable to Severn Trent and I can't think of any company that would find it acceptable.

    So as you put in your opening post, Severn trent are completely correct in stating that your account was in arrears for 2 months. It was in arrears from the day the bill of £160 was raised and two months later after you had paid £80 it was still in arrears by £80.  
  • MckennaMckenna Forumite
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    Does the £41 monthly payment include what they consider a debt as you've failed to pay the 6 monthly bill within their timescale?
    No, none documented on the bill.
    their timescale before making reports was two months both of which had payments made online. 
    As I said earlier they do not consider online payments as a valid payment plan. It’s direct debit or water card. Cardew said:
    Mckenna said:
    Cardew said:
    With respect, you appear to want to have your cake and eat it too!

    With a metered bill of £160, when you don't pay by Direct Debit, you owe them £160, and that is due immediately. However like most companies you have a finite time to settle that bill and you, as a customer, cannot decide you will pay that bill over a four month period. When you have made your first payment of £40 you are still £120 in debt etc etc

    If for some reason you don't want to pay by Direct Debit, or pay your bill in full when you receive it, you can set up a payment plan. However this will be for 12 payments. see https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/regular-payments/payment-plans/

    So even if I set up the direct debit it’s still 41 a month… every month for 12 months the bill would still take 4 months to be paid regardless. Why should you be punished opting to not pay them by DD in the same time frame? 

    There is a small margin of error but £160 for 6 months, then the same for the following 6 clearly is £320. 
    To pay 41 for 12 months is £492 that clearly doesn’t add up. 

    As to the credit file stuff I’m not missing payments, payments are made… so how is it right they say I’ve missed them just because they aren’t via DD?

    You are making the wrong assumption. It is not 'in the same time frame'

    With a direct debit you are paying during the 12 months you are receiving water. So at the end of the 12 month period, if the Direct Debit is set correctly, your balance will be zero.


    In your case you have elected to pay on receipt of a bill so at the end of the 6 month period you are in debt on the account by the amount of the bill(£160 in your case) which should be paid immediately. You appear to have decided yourself at the rate you will pay back the debt( 4 months in your case) That is understandably not acceptable to Severn Trent and I can't think of any company that would find it acceptable.

    So as you put in your opening post, Severn trent are completely correct in stating that your account was in arrears for 2 months. It was in arrears from the day the bill of £160 was raised and two months later after you had paid £80 it was still in arrears by £80.  
    Which would make sense and be fine.. if it wasn’t for the fact they are happy to take payment by DD after the fact monthly.. they explicitly said if I pay by direct debit in this fashion they’ll be no update to my credit file. So why are they blind payments not counted in the same fashion.

    likewise my first six month bill is 160 it is likely my second 6 month bill will be similar it is just me living here, so approximately 320 for the year, why would I sign up to a direct debit amount for nearly 500? 
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Mckenna said:
    Does the £41 monthly payment include what they consider a debt as you've failed to pay the 6 monthly bill within their timescale?
    No, none documented on the bill.
    their timescale before making reports was two months both of which had payments made online. 
    As I said earlier they do not consider online payments as a valid payment plan. It’s direct debit or water card. Cardew said:
    Mckenna said:
    Cardew said:
    With respect, you appear to want to have your cake and eat it too!

    With a metered bill of £160, when you don't pay by Direct Debit, you owe them £160, and that is due immediately. However like most companies you have a finite time to settle that bill and you, as a customer, cannot decide you will pay that bill over a four month period. When you have made your first payment of £40 you are still £120 in debt etc etc

    If for some reason you don't want to pay by Direct Debit, or pay your bill in full when you receive it, you can set up a payment plan. However this will be for 12 payments. see https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/regular-payments/payment-plans/

    So even if I set up the direct debit it’s still 41 a month… every month for 12 months the bill would still take 4 months to be paid regardless. Why should you be punished opting to not pay them by DD in the same time frame? 

    There is a small margin of error but £160 for 6 months, then the same for the following 6 clearly is £320. 
    To pay 41 for 12 months is £492 that clearly doesn’t add up. 

    As to the credit file stuff I’m not missing payments, payments are made… so how is it right they say I’ve missed them just because they aren’t via DD?

    You are making the wrong assumption. It is not 'in the same time frame'

    With a direct debit you are paying during the 12 months you are receiving water. So at the end of the 12 month period, if the Direct Debit is set correctly, your balance will be zero.


    In your case you have elected to pay on receipt of a bill so at the end of the 6 month period you are in debt on the account by the amount of the bill(£160 in your case) which should be paid immediately. You appear to have decided yourself at the rate you will pay back the debt( 4 months in your case) That is understandably not acceptable to Severn Trent and I can't think of any company that would find it acceptable.

    So as you put in your opening post, Severn trent are completely correct in stating that your account was in arrears for 2 months. It was in arrears from the day the bill of £160 was raised and two months later after you had paid £80 it was still in arrears by £80.  
    Which would make sense and be fine.. if it wasn’t for the fact they are happy to take payment by DD after the fact monthly.. they explicitly said if I pay by direct debit in this fashion they’ll be no update to my credit file. So why are they blind payments not counted in the same fashion.

    likewise my first six month bill is 160 it is likely my second 6 month bill will be similar it is just me living here, so approximately 320 for the year, why would I sign up to a direct debit amount for nearly 500? 

    You are conflating two different issues here.

    If you and the company cannot agree on the level of a direct debit(DD) that is a separate issue.

    However you decided not to pay by DD and pay on receipt of bill. As said above that bill(£160) is payable immediately NOT at the rate and timescale of your chosing.
  • Norman_CastleNorman_Castle Forumite
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    Mckenna said:

    their timescale before making reports was two months both of which had payments made online. 
    As I said earlier they do not consider online payments as a valid payment plan. It’s direct debit or water card.
    There's your answer. Pay in a way they consider valid. If you agree to six monthly bills you are agreeing to pay them when due, not in a convoluted way that suits you.
    Getting funky on the scene
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