This Consumer Rights Day (Monday 15 March 2010), the Consumer Council for Water wants to be sure that Anglian Water customers know about, and take advantage of the free, extra services available from their water company.
Recent research by the Consumer Council for Water has shown that many customers are unaware of some of the extra services for which they may be eligible. For example, only about a quarter of water customers know that special services are available for customers such as: deliveries of free bottled water in an emergency, Braille or talking water bills and schemes to help protect against bogus callers.
Customers can make sure theyre not missing out by looking through the information that comes with their water bills. A few of the Consumer Council for Waters top tips include:
Help for those struggling to afford water bills Customers who have a meter and either have three children under 19 (in full time education), or a medical condition that means they need to use more water, are eligible for help under the WaterSure scheme if they also receive income related benefits. WaterSure caps a households water bill at the average rate for their area so vulnerable households can use the water they need without having to worry about a high bill.
Anglian Water can also offer more flexible payment schemes, and has a special trust fund to help customers get out of debt. Call Anglian Water on 0800 169 3630 to find out more.
Special Assistance Each water company offers special assistance for customers, such as Braille, talking, or large print bills, and if you meet certain criteria, the company can arrange to have bottled water delivered to your door if a water main bursts and your water supply is cut off. Contact Anglian Water on 08457 91 91 55
Free help with leaks If you think you might have a water leak on your property, contact your water company. Anglian Water helps households to detect and repair leaks on their private supply pipes. This service, which is known as Watertight Promise, is free of charge, subject to certain conditions. Under Watertight Promise, Anglian Water will repair or replace up to 25 metres of underground pipe (excluding pipes that run under buildings) that runs from the street boundary to where the pipe enters your home. Although the pipe remains the responsibility of the householder, Anglian Water will offer this free service only once per supply pipe (subject to terms and conditions).
Free water meters Across England and Wales, about two thirds of water customers still pay charges based on the rateable value of their homes, but many could save money by having a water meter installed. Water companies install meters for free, and customers can try the meter for two years and switch back if they dont like it.1 If a meter cannot be fitted, companies can offer an alternative unmeasured tariff which may be lower than the current bill. A calculator to help customers work out how much they would pay on a metered charge is available on the Consumer Council for Waters website, www.ccwater.org.uk.
Help to reduce metered bills and cut down on wasting water Most water or sewerage companies offer free devices to help encourage responsible water use, such as shower timers, fat traps or water saving bags for your toilet cistern. Contact Anglian Water to find out more.
Sir James Perowne, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Central and Eastern, said: With Consumer Rights Day coming up, we know that many customers are not aware of the extra services each water company provides, and we would urge customers to get in touch with their local company if they think they could benefit from any, or all of these schemes.