I'm sure I'm not alone in being surprised to find out from a BBC consumer programme recently that many people are paying their water companies for Surface Water Drainage that they don't use!
Apparently, if you live within close proximity of the coast, a lake or river, it could be that your run-off goes into that and therefore if your water company is charging you incorrectly for the service, you can get the charge removed and any past payments refunded!
Check your bill and 'phone your water company - they WILL NOT contact you! They do not want to give back money. The gentleman featured was refunded in excess of £200! In his case, he pointed out to the water company that many people in flats on the marina development had not been refunded - and were still paying for this service incorrectly! The water company knew - but said they weren't going to refund and remove the charge unless each resident rang individually!
Someone else I know personally has asked for his refund to be given to him as an actual payment (not just a credit on his bill) and was refused - I'm not sure this is legal - but I'll see what I can find out and let you know!
Update - it would appear that claims for refunds can only be backdated to the beginning of the current financial year. See more at the OFWAT site.
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