Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    10110001
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    Default We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    A few weeks ago, we got this through our door:




    I immediately wrote to my own water supplier Thames Water telling them we didnít want a water meter and got no reply.

    This morning we got this put through the door with the mail. It says weíre getting a water meter tomorrow.



    I just phoned them and they say we HAVE to have a water meter TOMORROW and itís a government thing.

    Having a water meter:

    1. Devalues our property.
    2. Increases our insurance premiums as we need to cover for burst pipes losing metered water
    3. We are paranoid every time we turn on the tap.
    4. Itís an excuse to increase water charges and make increases less transparent.


    Our house is modern with all water saving devices (6 litre toilet tanks, no tanks in attic/mains pressure/no overflow pipes/always shower rarely use bath etc). but we STILL donít want a water meter.

    Suggestions?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Hey 10110001

    i live around the corner from you (dont worry I am harmless LOL but you may want to remove your addy from view!!), and we have not received anything about water meters and we are with the same water company as you. have you checked with your neighbours? do they also have to have the work done?
    Legally I am not sure where you stand, but I keep hearing that everyone will eventually be on a meter for water.
    Sorry i can't specifically help, but have you paid all of your bills on time? I just dont understand as locally i have not heard of any government intervention regarding meters.
    Definitely start with your neighbours, and see what they have been told (not advised!!)
    Red


  3. #3
    NATTIE
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    can you also just edit out your address as well.


  4. #4
    10110001
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    I'll ask the neighbours and report back.

    I pay the water twice yearly so no issues of late payment of bills.


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder charlie1963 Novitiate

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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Hi. I've just been through southern water website. I can't find that phone number in any of their ,contact us, numbers or the address either. Have you tried ringing them on one of their other numbers? The main one seems to be 0845 278 0845.


  6. #6
    10110001
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    UPDATE:


    We had our unwanted water meter fitted and following a solicitorís consultation hereís the legal position.


    When the name of the water utility bill payer changed, the water company is allowed to compulsorily change the supply so itís charged by reference to volume (metered).


    The legislation is Water Industry Act 1999 and there is no legal precedent (yet) when a metered bill payer faces a disproportionately high water bill following the change (meaning greater than the RPI for the previous 12 months) to reclaim his financial losses.


    The water company cannot charge you for installing a water meter as itís inconsistent with The Unsolicited Goods and Services Act 1971.


    If you voluntarily opt in for a water meter, you can revert back to fixed-fee water billing within 12 months.



    OTHER POINTS


    A Water company can also force change to charging by reference to volume if:


    1. You have a swimming/recreational pool larger than 4,400 gallons or a any pool that is replenished automatically.


    2. You have a sprinkler or unattended garden watering device.


    3. You change address


  7. #7
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Well 1011, it sounds as if you did everything you could (I am impressed about the solicitor!) , and I hope that even though your meter is unwanted, I hope that it still works out with reasonable water rates for you.
    I think eventually as previously stated that we will all have to have a water meter fitted in the future!
    Thanks for the update
    Red


  8. #8
    10110001
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Even though we are light users (we are Gatwick crew and out much of the time). I fail to see the benefits of having to pay for water via a meter.

    We still have to pay a fixed charge for water at £24.57 a quarter plus our current waste water charge (to Thames Water) at £94.95 a year and the metered water bill is on top and charged at £0.76 per cubic meter.

    The water meter is a charge increase.


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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Oh 101 that is not good then is it? I was under the (wrong) impression that water meters were a good thing, in the sense that they could be cheaper. Should have known really that this was not going to be the case.
    I guess that when your current rental agreement ends, if you decide to move from the property that you will consider the water meter as a factor, as this is a lot more money, and at time of writing we don't know how much in addition to the fixed charge you will end up paying.
    Please keep me informed!
    Thank you
    Red


  10. #10
    10110001
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Even if we move we cannot avoid a water meter because the company exercises Section 7(2)(b) of the Water Industry Act 1999, and that applies to anyone who buys our property.

    Also the burden of liability for the pipe work under the front of the property passes to the consumer as this carries measured chargeable water.

    There is no protection for the consumer for burst pipes even if it takes place out in the street.

    Having just taken some photographs of our new water meter (covered in styrofoam) under the street (I lifted flap with a large screwdriver), we no longer have a stop cock or emergency shut off device at the metered water point, and it was replaced with this.....




  11. #11
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Bloody hell 101, no wonder you were unhappy. It goes from bad to worse. Has said water company offered you insurance against any potential problems that may arise with your pipes? and is there any sort of guarantee or warranty along with this compulsory fitting? I guess not. I am really sad about this, where are the consumer's rights?
    Sorry for my assumption that you were renting, and not owning!
    red


  12. #12
    10110001
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Im afraid we have no such insurance policy to cover pipes out in the street and we are committed to our current annual home policy. To add metered water losses to our policy increases the premium and we still pay the first £250 policy excess.

    The law is definitely not on the consumer's side and obviously designed to bring price increases in water bills.


  13. #13
    Basic Account Holder vanessa82 Novitiate

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    Default

    <p>
    Quote Originally Posted by 10110001 View Post
    <font color="black">Im afraid we have no such insurance policy to cover pipes out in the street and we are committed to our current annual home policy. To add metered water losses to our policy increases the premium and we still pay the first £250 policy excess.</font></p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>
    <p><font color="black">The law is definitely not on the consumer's side and obviously designed to bring price increases in water bills.</font>
    </p>
    <p>&nbsp;</p>


  14. #14
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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Having a water metre doesn't devalue your house. Everyone will get one eventually and metred customers are effectively subsidising non metres customers presently.


  15. #15
    Basic Account Holder goodatresearch Informative goodatresearch Informative goodatresearch Informative goodatresearch Informative

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    Default Re: We are being forced to have a water meter - Suggestions?

    Oh and its not just where a metre is fitted. You are responsible for your supply pipe leaks metres or not. In any case, if your hardly home, your bills will be cheaper.



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