united utilities rant, I need help!

A chance to meet up with friends and have a chat - a general space with the freedom to talk about anything.
User avatar
Nomada
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:31 am
Location: North West

united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225759 Nomada
Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:23 pm

Can I just ask how much people pay monthly for their water? I'm paying £48.56 a month for mine and I just can't afford it anymore now that my working hours have been cut so I'm in arrears on bills for the first time ever and panicky, especially when they keep phoning me up.

I work 17 hours a week and my bloke lost his job in January, we've been told we're not entitled to any benefits. I've cut back on everything I can including the electricity and food. I'm fed up. I know families of five who don't pay as much as us for a house. There are two of us in a tiny one bedroom flat in the shittiest area of our city and it's not like we use loads of water, we don't have a shower so we have a wash most days and when we need a bath one of us uses the water (just a couple of inches) after the other, we only do a wash with a machine once a week.

We want a water meter but we're told that it could take up to 4 months to install one and they're not even sure they can as we're in a housing association block of flats with shared heating. Someone was supposed to come on Monday to assess if they could fit one but never turned up and I spent the whole day sitting in when I could have been out doing something more productive like working on my allotment. :angryfire:

My bloke is going to CAB where he volunteers tomorrow to ask about what else we can do if they can't/won't fit a meter. Any ideas? Anyone had a similar experience?
England is not a Free People, till the Poor that have no Land, have a free allowance to dig and labour the Commons.

User avatar
Stonehead
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2432
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225763 Stonehead
Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:52 pm

If the water company genuinely can't fit a meter, you can request what's called an assessed charged bill. It's based on things like the number of people living in your house/flat where a conventional bill is based on the property's rateable value (yes, daft and archaic).

The Consumer Council for Water is the consumer body for water and also deals with complaints the water companies haven't resolved. Their website is at:

http://www.ccwater.org.uk/
Image

Susie
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:29 pm
Location: Cambridge
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225765 Susie
Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:03 pm

I think ours is about £32 a month but that's spread over 10 months not 12 - I'm not sure though. 2 of us in a 3 bed house, on a meter.

I can't help re how to get a meter, but, our water company here have a trust fund which gives grants to people having trouble paying their water bills - I don't think you have to be on benefits. It would *definitely* be worth seeing if there is something similar where you are (CAB will know). Don't be panicky about arrears - places will negotiate with you and agree lower payments if you're having temporary difficulties. (I don't mean any of that to sound patronising).

Hugs to you though, it sounds really stressful. I'm not surprised you're fed up.
blog
shop
that's it ;-)

TheGoodEarth
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 381
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:48 pm
Location: Near Perth, Scotland

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225772 TheGoodEarth
Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:50 pm

Don't panic, describe your situation exactly to the comapny and ask them for help with dealing with your situation. It's not new to them and they will have a plan to deal with your situation. If anyone is being unhelpful or arsey then ask to speak to the manager of the department and take it up with them. Good luck
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery

User avatar
pelmetman
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Lincolnshire
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225777 pelmetman
Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:09 pm

The monthly amount you are paying sounds far too much. We are on a water metre and pay £15 a month. We also both work from home so are here 24/7.

Just a thought it might be worth asking them to come out and check that you haven't got a leaking pipe.

Sue :flower:
Kind Regards
Pelmetman Dave
Pelmetlady Sue
Pelmetdog Troy

User avatar
MuddyWitch
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2460
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2008 3:13 pm
latitude: 52.643985
longitude: -1.052939
Location: Leicester, uk, but heading to Ireland

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225779 MuddyWitch
Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:19 pm

That seems farcically high! We are on a meter & when we had two daughters at home who both bathed three or four times a week & the washer (a large load one) was on every night our annual bill was only about £300.

Our nextdoor neighbour still pays rates as he's convinced it's cheaper (it really isn't!) & he pays £360 per year. Like us, he's in a three bed, though I doubt he uses as much as us.

Either way, you need to ask your water company to explain how you two could possibly be using as much as £580+ a year! The house nextdoor-but-two has 3 bathrooms in the main house, a granny flat & a swimming pool & their bill was only about £500 for the year.

I have always thought SevernTrent were the worst water company, but yours seems diabolical!

MW
If it isn't a Greyhound, it's just a dog!

User avatar
Nomada
Living the good life
Living the good life
Posts: 417
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:31 am
Location: North West

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225780 Nomada
Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:38 pm

Thanks for the replies, I pay more than my mum who is in a 3 bedroom house with two kids (my neice and nephew) and who are at home all the time. That's useful info about the assessed charge bill and the trust fund. We will look into them! I had a less than sympathetic worker on the phone i think, she didn't much care for our situation, she just kept telling me I 'had to pay'. I almost fancy telling them to just cut me off! But seriously, the water bill is higher than my average monthly food bill (though the allotment does help so much!) and much higher than the electric!
England is not a Free People, till the Poor that have no Land, have a free allowance to dig and labour the Commons.

Susie
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:29 pm
Location: Cambridge
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225783 Susie
Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:44 pm

Well, in a way, that rude woman on the phone is wrong, because you don't have to pay. (Although, don't quote me on that one!). They can't cut you off, it's illegal, and they can't do anything to restrict your supply. I'm not even sure water charges are treated as a priority debt (priority debts are housing costs, utilities and secured loans). They can take you to court, but then you'd make an offer of what you were able to pay, and the court would probably accept it. So that person on the phone ought to be helpful because you could be being awkward and you're not, you're trying to sort it out!

More power to your elbow ;-).
blog
shop
that's it ;-)

crowsashes
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 584
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 12:10 pm
Location: plymouth, i can see cornwall :P

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225784 crowsashes
Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:48 pm

i pay £60 a month for my water ( +/- a £1) it's standard billing and im waiting to get a meter in.

i am in the south west though and supposedly we have the highest rates in the country. :roll:

oldjerry
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2101
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:57 am

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225785 oldjerry
Thu Mar 10, 2011 10:49 pm

Un-effing believable..! That is totally ridiculous.I've just asked Mrs OJ and we pay about £80 a year(seriously).We have a septic tank so we're not on mains drainage and that makes things a lot cheaper. I'm pretty sure that it's illegal for you to be cut off,so don't panic too much.I really feel you're being ripped off,......FIGHT IT, the CAB has got to be the right place to start, best wishes, no, very best wishes. OJ.

User avatar
Green Aura
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 8383
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 8:16 pm
latitude: 58.569279
longitude: -4.762620
Location: North West Highlands

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225786 Green Aura
Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:14 pm

I think a trip to the CAB is definitely in order. And not just about your water rates - I find it hard to believe you're not entitled to any benefits (unless you're in an extremely well-paid PT job). They will be able to help you sort out all your debts and negotiate any payment plan on your behalf.

I don't suppose your unsympathetic worker provided you with a name did she? I'm thinking you have good cause to complain - whether you have to pay them or not they have duty to help you find a suitable way to pay not just keep spouting rubbish.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

User avatar
Stonehead
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 2432
Joined: Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:31 pm
Location: Scotland
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225787 Stonehead
Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:43 pm

A quick Google threw up this useful backgrounder on Money Supermarket. Makes it all fairly clear.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilit ... ater-bills
Image

dave45
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 683
Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:20 pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225875 dave45
Fri Mar 11, 2011 4:33 pm

My UU bill came today - its £428
10 years ago it was £223
20 years ago it was £121

so overall it is rising at about 6% per annum compound.

User avatar
battybird
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 655
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2007 7:05 pm
Location: Kent / central portugal

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225893 battybird
Fri Mar 11, 2011 8:39 pm

Water rates seem to be so random...our son who lives in a 1 bed flat has just paid a bill of £114 for 6mths Still has the waste one to come (about the same amount) whereas 2 of us in a three bed house on a water meter pay £30 for the same period (waste is about £50). He cannot have a meter as its a council flat! That link from stonehead looks well worth following up! Now I wonder why the water companies dont tell us about these things?????
The cockerel makes the noise, the hen produces the goods!! anon

Susie
A selfsufficientish Regular
A selfsufficientish Regular
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:29 pm
Location: Cambridge
Contact:

Re: united utilities rant, I need help!

Post: #225895 Susie
Fri Mar 11, 2011 10:14 pm

I've just checked ours again and I was completely wrong. £80 for a year. I don't even know how that can be, but, yes yours is way too much!
blog
shop
that's it ;-)


Return to “The ish Local - (Chat)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests