Thank you for your response; I appreciate your involvement in this matter.
Ms G contacted us on behalf of a number of her constituents, all living on the same street. Following a water quality incident, the local water company issued a do not drink notice to residents, which lasted for six weeks. Households were issued with bottled water and bowsers were installed on the street, however these emptied quickly and for the first few days the water was brown in colour, as a result of the water hoses being dirty. The water company initially offered to pay residents a full year’s compensation, however when it realised that the residents’ water bills varied, they retracted this offer and instead offered to pay those affected £150. When their MP got involved, the company increased this offer to £300.
What we found
We examined the case and discovered that the company had initially offered the residents a full year’s compensation believing that all homes on the street were paid at the same rateable value. Once the company realised this was not the case, they retracted this initial offer. We met with the company and argued that this was unfair to the residents to retract its initial offer, given that it was the company’s mistake and for the inconvenience caused.
Putting it right
Following our involvement, the company acknowledged its mistake in not checking that all the residents were all paying the same rate and agreed that it would not be fair to withdraw its initial offer. The company also agreed to pay each affected household an additional £25 Guaranteed service scheme payment for the water quality issue.