Water supply complaints are more than a drop in the ocean
THE heatwave has brought an unexpected holiday vibe to the UK in the last few weeks – and I for one am not going to moan about too much sun! But as the hot weather continues, people, pets and lawns across the land all have one thing in common. We’re all parched.
It’s at times like this we’re reminded of the importance of water – and how reliant we are on the companies that provide it.
Yet as the reservoirs dry up and water companies come under scrutiny for paying out massive dividends while not fixing leaks, I’m hearing a lot of frustration from readers about their regional water supplier.
In (almost) every case, we have no choice about the company that bills us for water – so many people assume that there’s no point in complaining given this monopoly. But you’ve actually got loads of rights – including guaranteed compensation for water company failings.
You can make a complaint about everything from the water company not turning up for an appointment to low water pressure (or it not working). Here’s a list of some of the things you can claim for as set down by regulator OFWAT:
■ Appointments not made properly or not kept, £20
■ Low water pressure, £25
■ Interruptions to supply without correct notice, £20
■ Supply not restored, £20 for first 24 hours and then £10 for each day after
■ Not responding to account queries, £20
■ Sewer flooding in your house, between £150 and £1,000
As you might imagine, there are some conditions that have to be met for these payments, but it’s really not complicated to make a claim – and there are loads more refunds that you could be entitled to as well. Find out more on the Resolver website.
So how are your water bills worked out? For many people, it’s all down to the ‘rateable value’ of your home.
Many years ago, your council will have put your property in to a band based on value, size and other factors. Homes built after 1990 should have water meters as standard – but check with your provider if you’re not sure if you have one. So if you’re in an older property, chances are you’re paying a fixed tariff rather than one based on the amount of water you’re actually using.
One of the best ways you can save some cash on your water bill is by asking for a meter. What’s that, I hear you cry?! Aren’t water meters as dodgy as some smart meters for energy?
Nope, it’s a different world to the energy meter roll out! Our friends over at Moneysaving Expert have a great rule that sums up if you can save: Count the number of people in your home. If that number is higher than the number of bedrooms you have then consider getting a water meter. The savings can be really quite impressive – there’s even a calculator on the Consumer Council for Water’s website. So don’t fight the meter – it might save you a packet.
■ Don’t let a water problem get you down. Get it sorted with Resolver: resolver.co.uk – and let me know your stories at email@example.com
It’s worth checking to see if a water meter would save you money over a fixed tariff