Man at table reading a bill, looking worried

The issue

A customer received a bill for £15,000 in October 2022 after his water company came to read his meter. He contacted the company a number of times disputing the amount and when the company looked into his account, they suspected there may have been a leak, so agreed to reduce his bill to £9,000.

The customer was not pleased with this offer as his company had not been out to read his meter in five years and so expected that the bill would have been reduced further as during the five-year period no bill from his company had requested payment or triggered his direct debit. The customer offered to make a £5,000 payment in final settlement.
His water company advised him of the leakage allowance time period, of 12 months, and that it covered the period they determined to be a leak from their records. As a result, they refused to consider a further reduction.

What we did to help

The CCW case officer quickly identified issues with the company’s service and their explanations of certain issues. This included why the customer was billed for so long on estimated readings which if read more regularly would have stopped the leakage at the property going on for so long and so reduced the customer’s bill. The case officer put forward a robust pre-investigation highlighting these points.

The result

The company agreed that its initial response didn’t take into consideration the customer’s concerns and that the customer was billed for too long on estimated readings that did not advise of a payment being needed. They also agreed with the assessment that proper billing from them would have identified a leakage at the property sooner. For this, they credited back £9,365.54 as a leakage allowance as well as £140 gesture of goodwill and £40 GSS payment. The customer was very happy with this outcome and with CCW’s help in getting the case resolved.

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