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  • "Apparently there is case law which stipulates that water companies can get away with this behaviour - Yorkshire Water vs Hall, 1994. I wonder, however, if that case was based around the ambiguities around water rates, rather than based around bills which have two clearly defined, metered values, and one standing charge? Any legal eagles have a look at it and see if a new build estate with metered water would likely go in the consumer's favour?

    Furthermore, UU will no doubt have been paid handsomely by the developers to install water mains, sewers, and water meters in new properties; ignorance of the fact that they weren't responsible for surface and highway drainage would therefore surely not wash as a defence?

    I would quite happily club in to any joint legal action against UU - as a resident of Kingsmead from 2004 to 2011, I calculate I'm owed well in excess of £300 - but as previous commenters have said, UU e-mailed me to say that they hoped I would find their e-mail satisfactory, but I would be getting zero. Zilch. Zip."
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Petition drawn up as Kingsmead fight water giant United Utilities

Petition drawn up as Kingsmead fight water giant

Petition drawn up as Kingsmead fight water giant

First published in News Northwich Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

FURIOUS residents are joining forces to demand what they are owed by a utilities giant.

An action group has been formed and a petition drawn up by Kingsmead residents who want a full refund for up to 18 years of paying United Utilities for a service the company did not provide.

They say refund offered by the company, which only covers part of the charge and dates back for just six years, is not enough.

Commenting on the Guardian website n00btastica said: “I have lived on Kingsmead for 14 years and have paid, year after year, the surface water standing charge.

“United Utilities have offered six years back payment with no interest and a (in my opinion) incorrect assessment of a split between surface and highways water.

“They are trying to wriggle out of paying back the monies they have taken from residents, in error, for a service they have not provided.

“I would like to see what would happen if the shoe was on the other foot and we owed United Utilities money.

“There is a moral issue here as well as a legal one.”

United Utilities bills residents for treating run-off water from rainfall, called a surface water charge.

Kingsmead Parish Council discovered that all rainfall in Kingsmead drains to a self-contained filtration unit that United Utilities did not own until October 2013.

quayle73, commenting on the website, said: “We get bills through the door and we trust the people sending them – that we are paying the correct amounts for the correct jobs being done.

“Being owed a lot more than £220 I am disgusted that United Utilities did not offer a full refund.

“It is our money and as a community we will fight for it.”

Pauljs said: “United Utilities have been charging residents for a service they have not been providing.

“It is their responsibility to refund all of the monies that have been taken in error.

“If they had discovered that they had under charged we would all be having to pay up the missed charges to the maximum degree.

“Sometimes you have to kick up a fuss to get the right and just outcome and this is one of those times.”

The petition is available on the Kingsmead Residents Facebook page.

Residents have also requested a formal public meeting with United Utilities and Kingsmead Parish Council has raised a complaint with the Consumer Council for Water.

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