Having checked my dashboard this morning, we have just under £290K of rebates/savings claims currently at some level of dispute with the water companies.
All of this money has been incorrectly charged to our customers (the water companies do not dispute that!), however they are refusing to repay some or all of the amounts by blaming errors in data handed to them in 1989 (yes, that’s over 25 years ago!) or by using various clauses within their Charging Schemes, to withhold or mitigate the repayment.
We maintain very good relationships with most of the water companies and many of them (Severn Trent, Business Stream, Yorkshire Water, Veolia) are very customer focused. However, we would like to say this to all water companies and their Chief Executives:
A bill is either right or it is wrong. If it’s wrong, then the incorrect charges should be repaid, with interest and hopefully an apology.
Customers rely on their bills to be correct and place their trust in the water utility providers to achieve this basic requirement. If a water company gets a bill wrong and the error is not due to any incorrect or false information supplied by the customer, then it should be repaid – in full and without delay
Anything else is simply not justifiable – morally or financially.