Here’s some advice to help you to avoid potentially awkward or threatening situations as a water customer.

Distraction burglaries

To gain access to your property some burglars will knock at your door and claim to be from the ‘Water Board’ or your water company. These crimes are often targeted at older or vulnerable people, especially those living alone.

How we are involved?

We are working with the police and other crime prevention organisations to raise awareness of distraction burglaries and help you stay safe.

We have asked all the water companies in England and Wales to ensure their representatives follow the industry code of practice and carry ID when visiting a property.

What to do if you are unsure

First, you should remember that it is very unlikely that a water company will send a representative to your door without an agreed appointment.

However, if the water company does visit without warning (perhaps in an emergency or for legal reasons) its representative would not mind if you refused them entry while you check their identity.

If you do have an unexpected caller, only open your door to them with your door chain on. Then ask for the caller’s identification and/or paperwork to be passed to you.

Ask them to wait while you close your door and call your water company to check their identity.

Do not use the phone number they give you. Instead, find the number from the back of your bill, the phone book or from the water company’s website.

If the caller should not be there – or if they leave without waiting for you to return – call the police.

Safe passwords

To protect you further you also have the option of registering a password with your water company. This will enable you to test whether the caller is genuine by asking them for the agreed password.

Always your decision

Do remember that you can turn anyone away if you feel uncomfortable about them in any way; especially if you’re unsure about their ID or any paperwork they’re presenting.

Cost saving services

You may be contacted by a company offering to save you money on your water bill.

These companies may charge a fee to investigate if any savings are possible or they may keep part of any savings they’re able to identify.

Our advice

If you do agree to work with an organisation of this kind, make sure you are clear about what they will be doing for you, how it will work, how much you will have to pay and when.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Is the company charging for something which is available for free? Your water company and we can both help you find out if there are ways to cut your bill and help you take the simple steps to start saving. Check out our top money saving tips here or give us or your water company a call to find out more.
  • Is there any risk? Companies offering to cut your bills may ask that you pay your water charges to them rather than directly to your water company. However if payments are not passed on to your water company it can still hold you responsible and seek to recover payment from you.

If you are in any doubt about a service which has been offered to you in relation to your water and sewerage services please contact us or your water company for advice.