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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 8th Nov 13, 8:51 AM
    • 2,324Posts
    • 971Thanks
    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: Ofwat rejects Thames Water's bid to hike bills
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 13, 8:51 AM
    MSE News: Ofwat rejects Thames Water's bid to hike bills 8th Nov 13 at 8:51 AM
    "Ofwat says Thames Water's 8% one-off increase to households' average bills of £354 could not be justified..."

    Read the full story:

    Ofwat rejects Thames Water's bid to hike bills




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Page 1
    • danthemoneysavingman
    • By danthemoneysavingman 8th Nov 13, 9:54 AM
    • 1,283 Posts
    • 538 Thanks
    danthemoneysavingman
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 13, 9:54 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 13, 9:54 AM
    Why don't they try harder to recover the money from non-paying customers, and fix their leaks - which is effectively, and literally, money down the drain!
    • DJ Mike
    • By DJ Mike 8th Nov 13, 10:59 AM
    • 239 Posts
    • 212 Thanks
    DJ Mike
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 13, 10:59 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 13, 10:59 AM
    I remember reading a while back that Thames Water were far and away the worst for wasting water through leaking pipes. Is this still the case?
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 8th Nov 13, 11:51 AM
    • 27,890 Posts
    • 13,748 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 13, 11:51 AM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 13, 11:51 AM
    Why don't they try harder to recover the money from non-paying customers, !
    Originally posted by danthemoneysavingman
    Thames Water said it wanted to raise prices because of cash-strapped customers failing to pay their bills
    These days many customers are aware that water supplies cannot be cut-off, so they are quite content to see others paying extra to cover the loss in revenue.

    Even if it goes to court, at considerable expense to the company, the judgements are often to pay back a small amount each week - which is usually ignored. The 'black mark' on their credit record is of little consequence to some people.

    This situation not helped by some posters on MSE encouraging people to avoid paying their water bill on any pretext.
  • mart.vader
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 13, 12:51 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 13, 12:51 PM
    I remember reading a while back that Thames Water were far and away the worst for wasting water through leaking pipes. Is this still the case?
    Originally posted by DJ Mike
    I don't know the current situation, but around 12 years ago, a rather ancient water-main caused havoc when it burst, and flooded a rather swanky part of London.

    Thames Water senior management (As I recall it was the CEO) "opted" to open a 12" drain valve into a sewer, to avoid the possibility of the main bursting again. They left it running for years. That's a 12" diameter pipe running full-bore straight into a sewer, 24/7/365. It may still be running now for all I know. OFWAT were informed at the time, but chose to do nothing.
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 8th Nov 13, 1:10 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    samsmoot
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 13, 1:10 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 13, 1:10 PM
    These days many customers are aware that water supplies cannot be cut-off, so they are quite content to see others paying extra to cover the loss in revenue.

    Even if it goes to court, at considerable expense to the company, the judgements are often to pay back a small amount each week - which is usually ignored. The 'black mark' on their credit record is of little consequence to some people.

    This situation not helped by some posters on MSE encouraging people to avoid paying their water bill on any pretext.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Should you then not be lobbying your MP to get the law changed so as to make these scoundrels pay up? You do seem quite peeved, and as moaning about it on here hasn't helped perhaps you should try a different tactic.
    • Pincher
    • By Pincher 8th Nov 13, 1:48 PM
    • 6,516 Posts
    • 2,491 Thanks
    Pincher
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 13, 1:48 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 13, 1:48 PM
    Should you then not be lobbying your MP to get the law changed so as to make these scoundrels pay up? You do seem quite peeved, and as moaning about it on here hasn't helped perhaps you should try a different tactic.
    Originally posted by samsmoot
    Impound their cars and auction unless they pay up.
    This is a reverse-Robin Hood approach, we rob the people who are in debt and won't pay up, to lower the bills for the decent folks of Londonham.

    Before the law catches up to permit this, we need to take the IRA's example. The car repo team will have to be the clandestine and illegal arm of the Thames Water Sinn Fenn.

    I would strongly advise against kidnapping their grand mothers, as they are precisely the uncaring creeps who have been plotting to get rid of their grandmothers for their money and house. A live hostage just means you have taken on a long term liability in housing, food and water, and towel baths. Also, the flatulence will drive you crazy.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 8th Nov 13, 2:18 PM
    • 27,890 Posts
    • 13,748 Thanks
    Cardew
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 13, 2:18 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 13, 2:18 PM
    Should you then not be lobbying your MP to get the law changed so as to make these scoundrels pay up? You do seem quite peeved, and as moaning about it on here hasn't helped perhaps you should try a different tactic.
    Originally posted by samsmoot
    My preferred tactic is to shame those who do not pay, and criticise those on MSE who encourage people to use any pretext not to pay.
    • macman
    • By macman 8th Nov 13, 2:29 PM
    • 43,327 Posts
    • 18,505 Thanks
    macman
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 13, 2:29 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 13, 2:29 PM
    I remember reading a while back that Thames Water were far and away the worst for wasting water through leaking pipes. Is this still the case?
    Originally posted by DJ Mike
    To be fair, they also probably have the oldest (mostly Victorian or Edwardian vintage), longest, and densest supply network, with the heaviest amount traffic passing over it.
    Anyone living or commuting in London knows that TW and their contractors have been working on supply pipe replacement for years now. It's a massive task, and doing it any faster would cause even more traffic disruption.
    The problem is that much of the original suply pipework is all of the same era and so is widely failing at the same time. We are lucky that Bazalgette had the foresight to build his sewers to last more than a century, and to handle volume far in excess of what was ever envisaged as necessary at the time.
    Last edited by macman; 08-11-2013 at 2:33 PM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 8th Nov 13, 4:07 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    samsmoot
    My preferred tactic is to shame those who do not pay, and criticise those on MSE who encourage people to use any pretext not to pay.
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Best of luck in getting anywhere with that.
    • Uxb
    • By Uxb 8th Nov 13, 5:46 PM
    • 1,306 Posts
    • 1,532 Thanks
    Uxb
    Why don't they try harder to recover the money from non-paying customers, and fix their leaks - which is effectively, and literally, money down the drain!
    Originally posted by danthemoneysavingman
    Sadly Nope,
    Leaks can cost far more to fix than the cost of the water leaking from them.
    What this means of course is that water is too cheap. If it was more expensive and hence valuable then leaks would be more financially viable to fix quicker.
  • mart.vader
    Sadly Nope,
    Leaks can cost far more to fix than the cost of the water leaking from them.
    What this means of course is that water is too cheap. If it was more expensive and hence valuable then leaks would be more financially viable to fix quicker.
    Originally posted by Uxb

    Sadly, also, Nope,

    It may not be cost-effective to chase every last dribble of a leak on a water main, but when the water is pi$$ing out wholesale, then it definitely should be worthwhile for the Water Cos to fix the leaks.

    The problem is not that water is too cheap, (overall it isn't) - the problem is that waste of water is of little or no consequence to the Water Cos. until it has been metered or if it is leaking and causing damage. The other problem is that Water Cos have captive groups of customers, so it doesn't matter to them whether you approve or not.
  • Mobius1
    It's nice to see Ofwat reject and stop something like this from happening, something which would be extremely unfair on the consumer.

    I agree that it must be very difficult for water companies to go after the scum that use the water and don't pay for it but that is surely a reality of being a provider of such a service? Why should the compliant customers have to pay more because of that? They ought to reduce their own profit margins or be actively lobbying for changes in the law to enable them to more effectively manage people who fail to pay their bills.

    A blanket increase in charges to all customer, whether ongoing or as a one-off is the easy / lazy option, too right that its been rejected.
    • Nessie23
    • By Nessie23 9th Nov 13, 9:03 PM
    • 231 Posts
    • 124 Thanks
    Nessie23
    It's nice to see Ofwat reject and stop something like this from happening, something which would be extremely unfair on the consumer.
    Originally posted by Mobius1
    A blanket increase in charges to all customer, whether ongoing or as a one-off is the easy / lazy option, too right that its been rejected.
    Do privatised utilities such as TW provide good value for money for the consumer? Let's face it as a private company TW's main target will be to obtain a hefty profit. Apart from the restrictions on price rises and fines what else can OFWAT do to ensure TW perform, can they change the management if they don't perform?
    Would a public water company or a not for profit organisation provide better value? If accountable and managed properly it probably would.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 9th Nov 13, 9:34 PM
    • 27,890 Posts
    • 13,748 Thanks
    Cardew

    I agree that it must be very difficult for water companies to go after the scum that use the water and don't pay for it but that is surely a reality of being a provider of such a service? Why should the compliant customers have to pay more because of that? .
    Originally posted by Mobius1
    The water companies are all in a win/win position because the Regulator controls their prices and hence profit. If their revenue falls because of the 'scum'(as you put it) who don't pay for their water, charges rise for the rest of their customers.

    The problem is that the water companies 'cannot go after'(as you put it) the non-paying customers because the Government have now decreed that water supplies will not be cut off, or even restricted, for non-paying customers.

    For the companies to take these customers to court is a long winded and expensive procedure. These people often are not bothered about a court order, or getting a black mark on their credit record. They might get a court order to pay a couple of pounds a week off their debt, but they still don't pay for their on-going bills; and even that court order is, in practice, unenforceable.

    We have a poster who contributes regularly to this forum. He boasts openly that he hasn't paid his water bill for some years because of a dispute with Severn Trent and is not bothered about a poor credit record. He also encourages others to avoid paying their water bill on any pretext.

    Effectively the Government's actions in refusing to allow water companies to cut off supplies to non-paying customers, makes it inevitable that the rest of us pay more to cover their non-payment.
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 9th Nov 13, 10:32 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    samsmoot
    We have a poster who contributes regularly to this forum. He boasts openly that he hasn't paid his water bill for some years because of a dispute with Severn Trent
    Originally posted by Cardew
    South Staffs. But as I have previously pointed out I recently discovered that I am not liable for the charges anyway. That's what I told the debt collector's solicitor, who surprisingly for someone supposedly versed in and attempting to apply the law is unable or unwilling to provide a legal basis for the threatened claim.

    Severn Trent were the ones who got the DWP in trouble with a judge via a court order and a telling off of barristers after obtaining unlawful Third Party Deductions via a fraudulent document, and who don't get paid due to their thievery. Nothing to do with me though - another unhappy and stolen from customer chooses this particular lawful action.

    As you mentioned it.
    • Cardew
    • By Cardew 10th Nov 13, 7:55 AM
    • 27,890 Posts
    • 13,748 Thanks
    Cardew
    Who do you think pays your bill? and all the others you encourage not to pay?
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 10th Nov 13, 12:45 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    samsmoot
    Who do you think pays your bill? and all the others you encourage not to pay?
    Originally posted by Cardew
    I have no bill to pay - as I just explained - again.

    There's no evidence that encouragement from me has resulted in 'others' not paying, so your second question rests on a false assumption.
    • samsmoot
    • By samsmoot 10th Nov 13, 1:39 PM
    • 723 Posts
    • 378 Thanks
    samsmoot
    Who do you think pays your bill?
    Originally posted by Cardew
    Who do you think paid for the court claim mentioned above?

    That's two hearings before a District Judge which take into account 100+ pages of paperwork, legal administration costs, barrister fees - plus their travel expenses for 110 miles x 2 x 2, their attendance fees, claim issue fees, hearing fees, DWP administration costs and repayment of the money claimed.

    Involvement with this claim cost me time, effort and money - not to mention the stress and difficulty of having to attend a hearing to try and convince the judge of the merits of the claim - so they owe me.
    • PollySouthend
    • By PollySouthend 10th Nov 13, 2:41 PM
    • 384 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    PollySouthend
    354 for an average houshold bill sounds very cheap, mine is only 100ish less for one very low water user on a meter.
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