Every now and then there’ll be rumours of water companies overcharging consumers for services they haven’t used or at rates that well exceed the norm. We have compiled this blog to help you find out if your water provider is overcharging you.
Many people don’t even realise that they’re being overcharged for water services – particularly surface water drainage. It’s important that you educate yourself on ways to tell if you’re being overcharged and what you can do about it.
Get an expert in
Whether you’re a resident who’s concerned about the high cost of your water services or a company looking to refine your overheads, we recommend that you ask an expert to fully investigate your monthly expenditure.
Once it’s clear that there are grounds to claim for potential rebates, it’s important you take the necessary steps to do so, no matter how difficult this may be. If you spend thousands on water, you could recoup thousands back into your business or home, instead of lining the water provider’s pockets.
When you’re trying to reclaim overcharges, it’s important that you act quickly as some companies will dispute the time limits for customers to reclaim. Regulating bodies all have different guidelines on how many years a customer can reclaim on overpayments, which means it’s important you don’t leave it for too long. Despite this, there may still be a chance for you to reclaim even if a decade or two have passed. The Financial Services Ombudsman has stated that there is no time limit on how far back claims can be made.
Make an official complaint that your water provider is overcharging you
When you have gathered all the evidence you need to prove you’ve been overcharged, you need to write a letter to your water service provider. Every company should have a complaints procedure in place, which can usually be found on their website. Remember to include copies of your evidence when you email them and explain that they have overcharged you and you wish to be refunded.
Chances are, they will ignore or reject your initial request. Write again to a more senior person and request that they look into the matter. Make sure to include the reference number from your initial enquiry to stress the point that you’ve already placed the complaint.
If neither of these written complaints produces the results that you want, the next step is to take your case to the relevant regulatory authority. For water related services, you must refer it to the Consumer Council for Water. Luckily, they aim to settle 80% of complaints within 40 days, which means that you should have a viable ending to the matter within that time period.
When it comes to money, it’s never easy getting what you deserve, particularly when doing so involves proving that a company is (possibly knowingly) overcharging you. However, if you’ve done your homework and have the proof to back it up, stick to your guns and follow through on the matter until it’s resolved.