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My Mum's water bill says she has used 40% more water - 32 cubic metres versus 23 - in the second half of 2012. She lives alone and has only had occasional visitors. Can a water bill really fluctuate so much? I've looked it up online and the only possible suggestion is a leak. My gut instinct is that there is no leak. Anyone had previous experience of this? Any water engineers here?  39

I checked the meter outside briefly and the "red hand" was not spinning when I looked.

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 3 years ago
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I had a leak problem, and kept receiving demands for £640-odd. I argued the toss a few times on the phone, and eventually a new bill arrived for £140. Water is a basic human right so they can't cut you off, they just wrote off £500 of it. She just needs to refuse to pay it a few times and they'll get bored. Good luck.

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Wookster [53 posts] 3 years ago
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Speak to the Water company, given the increase I'd be asking for an inspector to visit to check the meter reading and for leaks.

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chris75018 [99 posts] 3 years ago
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I used to work with the water industry and notfastenough is right in saying that they can't cut your mum off, but that doesn't mean they can't chase her for the money, or pass on the debt to collection agencies - probably not worth the stress (plus, unpaid bills have to be paid by someone - unpaid bills just mean everyone else's bills go up...).

If it's a leak on the property (as it would be if it's showing on the meter) the homeowner is usually liable.

Best bet is to get on to customer service though, and if that doesn't work try CCWater - they have a government remit to represent water customers' rights: http://ccwater.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/226

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notfastenough [3709 posts] 3 years ago
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To be fair I lived in a flat at the time, and the meters were in a cupboard at the end of the hall, but that left 20-odd ft of pipe that wasn't on my property.

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks very much for all the replies and advice.

Curiously, the bill isn't actually that much more than usual. We're going to contact Thames Water and see what they come back with.

Thanks again!

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Bobbys boys [76 posts] 3 years ago
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Has she got a drink problem?  4

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londonplayer [620 posts] 3 years ago
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No - but I have  4