Donate to Remove ads

Got a credit card? use our Credit Card & Finance Calculators

Thanks to ExFM,ErroneousBee,GSVsowhat,Shelford,Hypster, for Donating to support the site

You're paying the right amount, so ...

Grumpy Old Lemons Like You
UncleEbenezer
Lemon Half
Posts: 5919
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:17 pm
Has thanked: 797 times
Been thanked: 1309 times

You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358425

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 20th, 2020, 1:38 pm

Just got a paper bill from Southwest Water. They bill me twice a year, six months at a time.

I'm paying £18/month by direct debit, which is of course £108 over six months. My usage, based on an actual reading by them (no estimate, no customer's own reading) is £103.03. It also shows my previous six months at a remarkably consistent £102.87 despite some change due to covid and the season. So all's well, I'm paying the right amount, yesno?

Seems not. The bill says they're going to raise my monthly payment to £34. Erm ... ???

(As I write, I think I recollect that last bill they invited me to raise the amount, and I ignored it after a similar calculation. This one isn't an invitation, it's a fait accompli).

OK, what next?

Arborbridge
Lemon Half
Posts: 6226
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 9:33 am
Has thanked: 1441 times
Been thanked: 2278 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358434

Postby Arborbridge » November 20th, 2020, 1:53 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Just got a paper bill from Southwest Water. They bill me twice a year, six months at a time.

I'm paying £18/month by direct debit, which is of course £108 over six months. My usage, based on an actual reading by them (no estimate, no customer's own reading) is £103.03. It also shows my previous six months at a remarkably consistent £102.87 despite some change due to covid and the season. So all's well, I'm paying the right amount, yesno?

Seems not. The bill says they're going to raise my monthly payment to £34. Erm ... ???

(As I write, I think I recollect that last bill they invited me to raise the amount, and I ignored it after a similar calculation. This one isn't an invitation, it's a fait accompli).

OK, what next?


Telephone? Cancelling the DD usually gets attention - though sometimes of the wrong sort!

AsleepInYorkshire
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1711
Joined: February 7th, 2017, 9:36 pm
Has thanked: 2081 times
Been thanked: 916 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358435

Postby AsleepInYorkshire » November 20th, 2020, 1:55 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:Just got a paper bill from Southwest Water. They bill me twice a year, six months at a time.

I'm paying £18/month by direct debit, which is of course £108 over six months. My usage, based on an actual reading by them (no estimate, no customer's own reading) is £103.03. It also shows my previous six months at a remarkably consistent £102.87 despite some change due to covid and the season. So all's well, I'm paying the right amount, yesno?

Seems not. The bill says they're going to raise my monthly payment to £34. Erm ... ???

(As I write, I think I recollect that last bill they invited me to raise the amount, and I ignored it after a similar calculation. This one isn't an invitation, it's a fait accompli).

OK, what next?

Change to a standing order?

AiY

TUK020
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 1203
Joined: November 5th, 2016, 7:41 am
Has thanked: 340 times
Been thanked: 684 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358468

Postby TUK020 » November 20th, 2020, 3:12 pm

AsleepInYorkshire wrote:Change to a standing order?

AiY


Unfortunately the weaselly power utilities are wise to that, and either don't give you the option, or charge a different tariff.
An annual ring up and whinge works.
Plus a smug feeling that at current interest rates, it's doing them bugger all good anyway

AleisterCrowley
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4851
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 11:35 am
Has thanked: 1327 times
Been thanked: 1367 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358480

Postby AleisterCrowley » November 20th, 2020, 3:37 pm

I spent too long yesterday (and the last week) dealing with Thames Water, who are almost uncontactable
(They had decided, two years late, to bill me for the last period at my previous abode. Despite the bill saying they would take the payment by direct debit)

bungeejumper
Lemon Quarter
Posts: 4990
Joined: November 8th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Has thanked: 1502 times
Been thanked: 1976 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358497

Postby bungeejumper » November 20th, 2020, 4:02 pm

UncleEbenezer wrote:It also shows my previous six months at a remarkably consistent £102.87 despite some change due to covid and the season.

Clang, clang, clang, bells are ringing. :|

The short version is that the water board has probably cocked up, but that you probably do owe them the money because they haven't been taking enough from you this year. My guess is that they put their whole accounts staff on WFH during the lockdown, so an unsatisfactory situation was allowed to run on until now, when they've walloped you all of a sudden. You can make a stink and fight back, but it will probably all come out in the wash when they revert to sanity.

My longer (and slightly different) version of your story is that BT upped my monthly instalment from £39 to £72.50 earlier this year. Also without warning or any opportunity for comeback. And very much to my annoyance, since I run a tight ship on my bank account.

Upon closer examination, it turned out that for the last two years or so, BT had been charging me less than they should have, because the idle barstewards hadn't ever got round to collecting on an earlier price rise. :|

All of which, they suddenly discovered, had left my account in an accrued debit by £150 or so. So the fastest way for some red-faced operative to get his accounts straight (and perhaps to prevent his oversight from coming to the attention of his superiors?) was to nearly double my monthly instalments until such time as the amount owing had been recouped.

At which point, having got my account back to zero, they should have returned my monthly payment to the correct level (around £45). Except that they accidentally forgot, and carried on helping themselves to another few months of my punitive payments, at which point they wrote to me (this week, as it happens) to say that they were giving me a free month off from my regular instalments.

Wasn't that generous of them? No, I didn't think so either. :evil:

BJ

Watis
Lemon Slice
Posts: 853
Joined: November 5th, 2016, 10:53 am
Has thanked: 125 times
Been thanked: 269 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358511

Postby Watis » November 20th, 2020, 4:26 pm

I'm with OVO for my energy - and very happy with them.

I was overpaying for a while and had built up a credit balance of several hundred pounds. Why would you allow that, I hear you ask. Well, my credit balance with OVO earns 5% interest - a rate I can't get anywhere else!

Six months ago, they noticed this and reduced my monthly payment to a level below my usage, so the credit will eventually get used up. However, they now say that the payment I'm making will be used up before the end of winter so I should consider increasing it again. I'm happy to wait and see if they increase the monthly payment themselves for now.

Watis

UncleEbenezer
Lemon Half
Posts: 5919
Joined: November 4th, 2016, 8:17 pm
Has thanked: 797 times
Been thanked: 1309 times

Re: You're paying the right amount, so ...

#358540

Postby UncleEbenezer » November 20th, 2020, 5:26 pm

Watis wrote:I'm with OVO for my energy - and very happy with them.

I was overpaying for a while and had built up a credit balance of several hundred pounds. Why would you allow that, I hear you ask. Well, my credit balance with OVO earns 5% interest - a rate I can't get anywhere else!
Watis


I've seen that story before. Some time ago my dad had me look at his OVO bills after some shenanigans including raising his payments too high. They were offering a better deal (which we decided he should take). When his payments didn't come down, we looked at the details and found the 5%. So we just left the payment unchanged to build up.

bungeejumper wrote:The short version is that the water board has probably cocked up, but that you probably do owe them the money because they haven't been taking enough from you this year.


The figures in the bill are clear. Before the bill (but after the last six months' payment) there's a small credit (£5.13). So while my usage is £103.03, my bill is £97.90. That kind of trivial difference is just fine with me.

I even remember agreeing the £18/month with them last year, after my move. That was based on my telling them I expected no significant change from my previous address, which they'd also supplied. Indeed, when I blogged about the good and the bad in the admin associated with the move, theirs was one of the happy paragraphs:

Amongst utilities, Southwest Water was relatively painless. My first attempt failed on some website idiocy, but that was when my ‘net connection was down to 2G so it was a cup-of-coffee delay as it insisted on my changing “7” to “07” (or something) in a Date field. Returning a second time when it was back up to 4G, it still exhibited idiocy, but at least worked to the point of letting me notify them of my move and submit meter readings. Best of all, no need to change my existing direct debit just because it’s a different address.


Return to “Bitter Lemons”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests