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dexter79

Help required with Yorkshire Water

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Thanks Bankfodder

 

if im honest ive not ever thought of recording my calls , or how i would

 

I await your thoughts

 

thanks

Tom

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Read our customer service guide.

 

You've been here since 2012


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Okay I'm now back and I have normal Internet access again but I have quite a few things to catch up on.

In respect of the summary of the conversation they sent to you, you should respond with your version of the conversation and whether or not you agree with the points that you have made.

This should be standard practice from you. It's essential to lay down a paper trail. You can see that this is what they are doing. If there are elements of the conversation which you disagree with then you must make it very clear that they have misstated the situation. Do not use phrases such as "I don't recollect that…", "I don't believe I said that…"

You must say very clearly that they have misstated the situation and that is not at all what was said. All that was not at all what was discussed et cetera. You should tell them to consult the transcript and if there is any dispute about it that you will bespeak the transcript as part of a subject access request


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First of all I apologise because there's going to be some duplication here. I'm trying to get my head back into this and to understand the story and to get the whole thing into some kind of perspective.

I understand that at some point Yorkshire Water installed a meter on your property
the meter was incorrectly installed
as a result they have been overcharging you quite substantial amount of money for about 11 years
they have offered you a refund
they have also offered to put you on to an assessment charge rather than proper metered supply
you prefer to have a metered supply
you have sent them an SAR and so far as I know they have not responded yet
they originally said that the meter could not be corrected that they have now appeared to resile from that position but instead they have suggested that they are going to charge you for the work

Is this correct?

If this is correct then my view is that when you moved into the property there was a contract with Yorkshire water that they would bill you correctly on the basis of the meter.  I also think that they have a duty towards you to fit the meter correctly – even if you wan the contracting partner. At the very least I think you can take benefit from the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act – just in the event that they try to say that they didn't owe you any contractual duty.

Therefore I think that you are entitled to insist that they fit the metre correctly, that they charge you according to metered charge and also that there is a proper independent assessment as to the amount of money which should have been paid over the last 11 years and an appropriate refund should be made to you.

They have offered you rate of interest which apparently relates to the bank interest rate and I think this is wholly unacceptable. The normal County Court rate of interest is 8% – although this is within the discretion of the judge. However, so far as I know, county courts are generally speaking wording the 8%.

Although Yorkshire water now seem to be prepared to talk, it seems to me to be in your interests to issue proceedings as soon as you recently can because in that way your claim for interest is established and it will then be for a judge to decide the rate – although you should certainly claim for a percent.

If you enter into a negotiation with Yorkshire water then they will offer you a lower rate of interest and the worrying thing is that they may pay you the principal which is outstanding and you will then be unable simply to sue them for the interest – or at least it would be very difficult.

This means that you will have to provoke them into refusing your proposal for settlement so that you then issue proceedings.

From this point of view, I would suggest that you will have to write to them, complain that they have breach the data protection rules in relation to the disclosure of the SAR which by my calculation is now at least two weeks late. I think you will also have to come up with a figure which you believe should be refunded to you and if you haven't done this already then I think that you should put it down in the spreadsheet as quickly as possible so that it is itemised year by year.

The figure should certainly be much more than they are offering you – although it should be an achievable figure and that I think that you should then give them two weeks what you will soon. Your expectation – and your hope would be that they would refuse to comply and then you will then issue proceedings for the value of the meter repairs, the refund that you want plus interest plus costs.

Please let me know what you think about this. I think that you will have to get to independent quotes very fast for the necessary repairs or modifications to the meter.  It is absolutely clear that this is the responsibility of Yorkshire water. It is they that have caused the error and you should not be held responsible for this. Hopefully this will be an area where they become stubborn and unwilling to negotiate and this will allow you to move the whole thing into the County Court.

That's the plan.

Plans always go wrong – but that's the plan.

Please let me know if I have misunderstood anything here. I think you need to move quickly

 


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Hi BankFodder,

Firstly apologies for being late in replying, work and family life have been absolutely mental.

 

I shall try to answer / comment on your points above to try and fill in the gaps

 

The meter was fitted on a dual supply approximately 13 years ago. 

To date I have paid £5569.53 for the water that has passed through the meter and served both properties.

they have offered me a refund, which I refused as it was for around 1900
they have also offered to put me on to an assessment charge rather than proper metered supply, I would prefer to have a metered supply as simple maths shows that I would be paying less for metered water.
I have sent them an SAR and they have responded.

 

Last Friday an engineer from the utility employed by YW visited me, I was under the impression that this engineer would be looking at the feasibility of installing a new supply to next door so that the supply to them from my property could be capped. This engineer told me he was only here to look a re-routing my supply and when I informed him it was to look at a new one I was told well I can only go by the job sheet and the job sheet says a re-route.

YW rang me today and left a voicemail stating that I had refused the engineer and wanted to discuss the reasons for this.

 

I have used the spreadsheet CIsheet101.xls to calculate a refund that I would be happy with this is taking the amounts I have paid by DD and dividing them by 2 and working 8% interest out from these figures and the dates I paid each DD.

This amount is £2784.77 and interest of £1567.91, therefore a total of £4352.68.

 

Does this seem reasonable to request from YW, if so how do I go about this or should I go down the court route and if so how do I begin this process. I am getting fed-up with YW constantly ignoring what I say and am not sure how to proceed. I really appreciate all your help in this.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

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Update.

 

Following Bankfodders advice on the 18th September, I wrote to YW and refused their offer of the refund on the grounds that I don't believe that it has been calculated correctly. I included in the letter my calculations (using the spreadsheet from this site) to the refund that I wanted and gave them 14 days to pay it.

Today I received the email below and have a few questions that I hope you people can help answer

Quote

Good afternoon Mr

Thank you for your email received on 18 September 2019.

I’m sorry you’re unhappy about the visit from Morrison Utilities on 17 September 2019.  I understand you were expecting a call back from Morrison and you believed one of our senior manager’s would be there.

What happened We’ve checked and you acquired a property (76 Scotchman Lane) that was being served by a private joint water supply pipe, with number 74.  In 2006, the previous occupier of your property had arranged for a water meter to be
installed.  At the time of the meter installation we wouldn’t have been aware that your private supply pipe was shared.

In instances where it isn’t feasible to fit a water meter at a reasonable cost to us, or where the supply is shared, para 5.A.(9)(g) our 2006 charges scheme, made in line with the Water Industry Act 1991(sections 143 and 143A),
states:

“When Yorkshire Water determines that it is not reasonably practicable to fit a meter or if it would involve unreasonable expense the consumer will be offered a charge for water supply on an assessed basis.”

We apologise you’ve been billed on a meter, fitted to an inappropriate private supply and as outlined above you should have been billed on an assessed charge tariff, from the date you became responsible for the charges (16 August 2008).

Pipework responsibility
Just to clarify, a shared supply pipe serving more than one property is the joint responsibility of all property owners served by the pipe.  Water companies have no obligation to replace privately shared pipes like this.

We’re responsible for the mains up to the boundary of your property.  For more information about pipework responsibility please view/download our guide by clicking on this link:

https://www.yorkshirewater.com/sites/default/files/YWSCOP_2083%2010.2017%20Whose

%20pipe%20is%20it%20%28COP%20leaflet%29.pdf

You can find additional information by clicking on this link to Ofwat’s website:

https://www.ofwat.gov.uk/households/supply-and-standards/supply-pipes/

The surveys We wanted to check if there was a cost-effective solution to remedy the joint supply issue, that would enable you to be billed correctly on a meter.  I’m sorry for any misunderstanding about the visit we arranged, and the information Morrison gave you.  I discussed your supply issues with senior managers at both Yorkshire Water and Morrison Utilities.  I then arranged for a senior engineer from Morrison Utilities to visit your home and carry out a survey, so they could establish if there was cost effective solution we could undertake, to enable you to have a meter fitted.

 

We’ve reviewed the survey results and decided that this isn’t work we’ll undertake as the pipes are private and we wouldn’t involve a 3rd party (number 74) with this.  Should you wish to pursue this option, you’ll need to undertake this work privately and liaise with our Developer Services Team for a new connection.  To contact them, please click on this link:

https://www.yorkshirewater.com/developers

Putting things right In view of this to rectify your charges, we’ve taken the following actions:

· We’ve recalculated your charges, based on our assessed charge tariff from 16 August 2008.

· For the period 16 August 2008 to 31 March 2019, we’ll refund the difference between your metered charges and assessed charges (£1,829.39), plus your final credit balance of £160.92, which takes into account your payments up to June 2019.
(Total refund = £1990.31)
· We’ll send you a new assessed charge bill for charges from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 of £378.31 (new account reference: 519082250080000 9).  If you’d like to pay by Direct Debit again, please contact us or click on this link:

https://www.yws.co.uk/directdebit/

· We’ve calculated interest up to date on your overpayment (£1,829.39 overpaid), based on the 8% you requested.  We’re required by law to deduct income tax from interest, at 20%.

· A certificate of deduction of income tax is attached for your records.
You may need this if a claim for repayment of tax is required. If you’ve any questions about deduction of income tax you should contact your local HM Revenue & Customs office. Alternatively, you can visit their website http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/.


· At the date of this email, net interest is calculated at £751.89 (gross: £939.86)
· We’ll pay you a goodwill gesture of £500.00, in view of the service issues you experienced in this matter.
· Your total refund is £3,242.20 (£1990.31 + £500.00 + £751.89) and we’re refunding this to Miss xxxxxxxx bank account in the next 5 to 7 days.

Contacting us I’ll keep an eye on your account until 25 October 2019, so you can contact us to arrange a new Direct Debit.  We’ll need Miss xxxxxxx to contact us, if you’d like to arrange a Direct Debit from her bank account.

I understand that you prefer future communications about these issues by letter or email. 

If you’d like to talk to me again, please call me on 01274 318452 and I’ll be happy to help you.

Regards
 

My main questions that I need help with are :

A: Does the fact that I have requested 8% interest mean that YW are required to deduct income tax from this?

For further information the amount of refund I requested (before interest) is £2784.77 which I calculated by taking 50% of £5569.53, which is the total sum of all payments I have made. I still cant quite believe that they think I have overpaid by £1829.39

 

I have been reading OFWATs website and also referred this case to the Consumer Council for Water.

 

sorry for the long post and thanks for your help in advance

 

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Tax is not of their doing

but hmrc rules.

if you dont earn over your threshold then you can reclaim it

 

Dx


PLEASE DONT HIT QUOTE IF THE LAST POST IS THE ONE YOU ARE REPLYING TOO.

MAKES A THREAD TWICE AS LONG TO SCROLL THROUGH!

please do not post jpg images directly to a topic..USE PDF ....READ UPLOAD.

 

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spreadsheets 

 

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First question is whether you are happy with their proposed financial solution.

First point to make is that although one has to accept what they say that if they make a decision that it is not economic for them to fit a meter then they are not obliged to. However, presumably they surveyed the property and the existing pipework and they made a judgement that they could install the meter. If they miss the fact that it is a more complicated job that they realised then that is their responsibility. By not fitting it correctly they have effectively breached their contract. That contract of course was with the previous occupier. I'm sure they would like to say that that means that their contractual obligations are merely towards that previous occupier with whom they had a contract. However, in 1999 Parliament passed the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act which meant that in certain circumstances a third party is entitled to assume all the benefits of the contract including the rights to bring an action for breach.

I'm sure the water company won't like to hear that. It seems to me that as they made the judgement to fit the meter - then it was their job to arrive at a proper judgement and to fit it correctly including dealing with all the complications caused by that particular installation. They were within their rights to refuse to fit the meter but as they made the decision to go ahead – and presumably they were paid for it, then they had to do do the job to a proper standard – and they didn't.


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I think that your position could be now to insist upon a settlement that you find reflects your actual usage and also to force them to pay for the proper installation of the meter. This would mean getting to independent quotations for the work.

Oh how we laughed.


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Thanks Bankfodder,

First up I am not happy with the amount calculated. I have paid for every drop of water that has passed through the meter and this has served two properties. I am going to reply to YW by email again informing them I don't agree with the calculation of refund and also request information as to how they have calculated the interest.

I will also inform them I have referred this to the consumer council for water and they are looking into this for me.

 

As for the meter, I am going to get an independent quotation for the cost of doing the work and I am also going to point out that if this issue had come to light within the first 5 years of us living in the property they could have installed a meter in the house before we had our kitchen refurbished. Perhaps if they had looked into why I had such a high bill when I rang them around the time we moved in then we might have found this issue then.

 

thanks in advance for your help again 

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Get two independent quotations. If you have to pay for these quotations then you should be able to recover the money from Y W when the matter is sorted out. I suggest that you tell them now that you consider that the work they carried out in 2006 was substandard and amounts to a breach of their contract because they did not exercise a proper standard when assessing the pipework and the work needed. I think you should tell them now that your position is that they are responsible for the poor workmanship which has left this situation and you are not prepared to allow them to walk away from it by making some alternative arrangement for charging. Put them on notice as to this. Tell them that you will be seeking independent quotations so that eventually if they will not correct the work themselves then you will have it put in hand and you will be claiming the costs from them.

And then go on to tell them additionally that you disagree with their calculation blah blah blah as you have already said. Tell them that they should be in no doubt that you intend to have the pipework and the metering corrected and that you will be looking to them to reimburse you all of the expenses of this work including the cost of any independent quotations as well as making a proper reimbursement of the money that they have overcharged you over many years. Tell them that you are prepared to go to court about this if necessary.

Now one thing for you – you want to do everything you can to keep this claim to less than £10,000 or else you will find yourself on the fast track and that means that you will be at risk of costs if you lose.

 


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Hang on, one caveat – you had better establish who it was who installed the meter.  If it was Yorkshire water then you should proceed as I suggested above. If it was some other company then I'm afraid that you have two problems. One will be to proceed against that company for the cost of rectifying the work and the second will be to proceed against Yorkshire water for the reimbursement of your money. If it turns out that the water metre was fitted by an independent supplier then you need to hope that the independent supplier is still in existence. If they aren't then you probably won't be able to do much about it unless you can show that Yorkshire water approved some plans or approved the work after it had been carried out.

I think making sure that you know who carried out the installation work is a very important first step


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