Protect yourself from third parties

There are many companies out there – often called utility consultants or water consultancies – that will take on the responsibility of managing a customer’s bills for a fee. As part of this service, they will also make sure customers are on the right tariffs and charges.

While this can be of real benefit to some customers, we would advise our customers to be wary of some claims. We’re all looking to save money at the moment, and we know some of our customers are being contacted by companies claiming they can save them money on their water bill.

Here we answer some of the more common queries that customers have:

Can I use a third party to manage my bills?

It’s completely your choice whether you pay your bills yourself or use a third-party company to pay your bills. If you want a third-party company to manage your account, you will need to share a letter of authority with us to give the third-party permission to act on your behalf.

One thing we would advise is to be careful about relying on a third party to pay your bills with us. We do accept third party payment arrangements, however, please note that if you are the occupier of a premises it is your responsibility to ensure that the charges for our services are paid in full.

If you cancel your direct debit with us and we do not receive any money for your premises’ bills, then that could lead to your account going into debt with us and even lead us to switch off your water (if you are a business premises) if we continue to not receive payment. Be wary about sharing any personal information such as your direct debit details or bank details with third party organisations.

They’ve told me they can save me money on my water bill as I’m owed money/have been overcharged

We take General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) rules around sharing customers’ data very seriously. We will therefore never share your billing information with any external organisation (unless we have a letter of authority from you, as explained above).

We do have slightly different tariffs and charges for customers based on things like:

  • The size of your water meter
  • Whether all the water you use returns to our sewers or not (also called non return to sewer allowance)
  • Whether you have surface water as well as foul water connected to our sewers (also called surface water drainage)
  • Whether your business is eligible to pay VAT (more information here)
  • Whether your business discharges any trade effluent (more information here)

If you have any concerns or queries about your charges, you can contact us directly and we will address any concerns without a third-party company needing to be involved. To understand how we charge customers, you can check all our tariffs on our Scheme of Charges here.

You can also check who your water provider is by using the Water UK postcode checker here.

They’ve told me they work with or on behalf of Welsh Water or the water industry regulator Ofwat.

We never work with third party organisations to reimburse customers’ money. If you are due any kind of refund, we will contact you directly to give you this money. We’d advise you to contact Ofwat directly to confirm whether any organisation works on behalf of the regulator.

What’s a letter of authority?

Here’s a template of a letter of authority. As referenced above, we need this in writing in order to share any of your billing information with any third parties.

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Template for Third Party Intermediary ‘TPI’ letter of authority.

PDF, 133.4kB

We hope the above guidance helps you. If you still have any queries about third party companies’ claims, please call us on 0800 052 0145 (available 8:00am - 6:00pm Mon-Fri, 9:00am - 1:00pm Sat).