An important lesson learnt following long running dispute

This outcome would not have been achieved without the intervention and persistence of CCW.

The issue

A primary school was told by their water retailer that they had used an unusually large volume of water over a relatively short period, resulting in a bill of almost £121,000. The retailer was adamant that because the meter had recorded the consumption accurately, the school was liable for the water bill. Checks on the meter were inconclusive and there was no indication of a leak. Despite going through the water retailer’s three-stage complaints process, the school was unable to get a resolution; this is when they turned to CCW for help.

What we found

The issue of the high water consumption was raised in January, but despite original meter checks being inconclusive, it wasn’t until May when a meter accuracy test was carried out that the meter was found to be faulty, resulting in it being replaced. Under these circumstances, the wholesaler should have adjusted the meter readings within 5 days, however it took months of communication between the wholesaler and retailer before this was done.

Acknowledging that there was a fault on the meter, the water retailer offered to credit the school’s account to the value of £93,000. Working with the school’s accountant, we strongly believed that this calculation was wrong, and the school was owed significantly more.

Putting it right

Following our investigation, and as a result of the significant pressure we put on them, the water retailer acknowledged that the school could not have used the volume of water it had quoted. The retailer worked with the wholesaler to ensure the school was credited £119,000. The school was delighted with this outcome.

Categories: Complaint successes