Marc Gander - The Consumer Survival Handbook

A 220 page introduction to all things consumer related by our own BankFodder.

Includes energy companies, mobile phone providers, retailers, banks, insurance companies,debt collection agencies, reclaim companies, secondhand car sellers, cowboy garages, cowboy builders and all the rest who put their own profits before you.


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.

£19.99 + £1.50 (P&P)

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder
    Do you record your calls?
    You'll regret it if you don't.

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    Cagger since : Dec 2008


    Default Help regarding United Utilities

    Well, we are looking for help and advice regarding United Utilities, our water bill is now 1,121.27 and we have been struggling to pay, i have requested a payment card so we can start paying towards the bill, however today they sent letter demanding the full amount in 30 days if we don`t pay they will start court action.

    Over the last few months both our wages have been reduced over 400.00 month so in reals terms we cannot pay all our bills. They have attached income form so happy to fill in and return which clearly shows we just don`t have the income or funds to pay in full.

    I have spoken to the company and they told me the min monthly payment has to be 160.00 which we cannot pay so just not sure were to go now.

    Any advice would be helful

  2. #2
    Site Team The Consumer Action Group BankFodder's Avatar

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    Cagger since : Jan 2006

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    Are you aware of the hardship scheme which I think is operated by all water companies – although you need to check this out. Thames water certainly operates it and it is called WaterSure.

    You should look at this and see if it can apply to you and your water supplier and then you should begin by raising it with them. It may be that they prefer not to talk about these schemes until it is raised by the customer.

    Secondly, you should certainly provide them with all of the income and expenditure information that they are asking. You need to show that you have behaved completely reasonably and complied with every request they have made – in the event that this does go to court.

    Finally, if it does go to court then it will be up to the judge to decide what a reasonable scheme of payments is and it will be out of the hands of the water company.

    Don't be bullied by the water company. Of course you need to pay your bills – but they can't cut you off and as long as you are honest and straight dealing with them in the information you give and you show you are doing your best then there is not much else that anyone can do.

    The next thing is to look at the bill they are living on you. Is this a standard water rate or do you have a meter? If you have a meter then you need to start looking at the readings very carefully and asking in particular when did they last take a meter reading – and in fact are they taking any meter readings at all?

    Just to add – regardless of what they say, you should start making some payments. They are not entitled to refuse payments so simply make payments regardless of whether or not they object. If you have any correspondence which shows that you have tried to offer certain payments and they have refused then keep these because these will be extremely useful if it eventually goes to court.

    Make payments as often as you can and as regularly as possible so that you show that you are willing even if they are being bloody-minded. If they object to you taking any measures to reduce the size of the outstanding debt then it is them being unreasonable and unfair.

    Have you seen this?

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