The issue

A business manager of a school contacted us following its water wholesaler’s refusal to grant a leak allowance. It rejected it on the grounds the repairs to the leak at the school were not made within the 30-day timescale stipulated within the allowance policy.

What we found

When we investigated it became clear that the standard policy for reporting the leak was not appropriate on this occasion. Firstly, the location of the leak meant more time was needed to dig beneath the classroom to locate and fix it. Secondly, the school’s usual contractor – who was on the list of approved suppliers provided by the water supplier – was unable to help on this occasion.

The wholesaler argued that the policy was there to ensure that customers were treated fairly and to ensure leaks are repaired sooner to reduce water wastage.

Putting it right

We challenged the company’s stance given the school’s mitigating circumstances and argued they had not been treated fairly. We were able to demonstrate that the school had made every effort to fix the leak and the delays were not its fault.

The school’s water retailer agreed with our recommendations and challenged the wholesaler policy. As a result, the school was awarded a leak allowance of more than £12,000.

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