Thames Water Is Shite


Thames Water Wastes Water

Thursday 21 May 2009

Customer Care - Not!

Sent to Thames Water "customer services" and their CEO on 17 May. Needless to say, no one has bothered to answer:

"4 March 2009 you wrote to me advising that you owed me £120.74, and requesting that I ring you to obtain the credit.

26 March 2009 I rang and gave all necessary information, eg bank details, I was advised that the credit would be processed.

16 May 2009 I received a letter from you referring to my call of 26 March, asking for my utility bills.

16 May I rang your offshore third party "help" centre to ask why it took over 8 weeks to query the call I made in March, and why the credit had not been paid.

I asked 3 times as to why it took 8 weeks to send the letter, the first two times your "help" centre operative claimed to be looking up the details; the third time I asked she deliberately cut me off (note I know the difference between an accidental cut off and a deliberate one).

Please answer the following:

1 Why is there over an 8 week gap between my call and your letter?

2 Why do you need utility bills to process the credit repayment?

3 Why did you not ask for these when I called in March?

4 Why have you not credited my bank account with the money you owe me?

You have 24 hours for someone based in the UK (not your foreign third party call centre) to take ownership of this problem, to come back to me and resolve it to my satisfaction.

Failure to do so will result in me adding this story to my site www.thameswaterisshite.com I will also advise my many contacts in the media as to your incompetence.

BTW, do you really think that outsourcing your "help" centre to a disinterested, incompetent foreign third party really improves customer "care"?

The clock is ticking


  1. Here's a comment about the shiteness of Thames Water.

    I moved into a property in December 2007 and set-up direct debits with Thames Water. In April 2008, I realised the direct debits had not been taken out of my account and, so, rang Thames Water to set-up yet another direct debit. It wasn’t until I was preparing to leave the property (in February 2009) that I was informed that only two direct debits had been taken out and that I owed nearly a year’s worth of water that I found out they had, yet again, failed to set-up the direct debit correctly. Thames Water initially said I had three months to pay the full balance, to which I managed to get them to agree to a payment plan over 12 months. To my surprise, the full amount was then deducted from my account (without authorisation) in February 2009 and then, some weeks later, put back into my account (without me uttering a word). So two direct debits down the line on my new payment plan of £38 per month, I get a red demand letter for £250-odd in May 2009. After querying this, they explained that two Accounts had been set-up for the new address (one at number 60 and one at 60A). I then cancelled my direct debits and was told that I would receive a letter explaining the mistake and then an invoice, which I advised I would organise to pay another way (not by direct debit). At the end of May/beginning of June 2009, I receive a bill (but no letter) for approximately £177. After checking my online banking today, Thames Water have, again, taken approximately £177 from my bank account (again, without authorisation). I was told it was the “system” and then demanded that the money be returned to my account within 24 hours, to which they assured me that it takes 3-5 working days for the money to be credited to my water account and then they can start looking in to refunding me. I have since received a phone call from a rude staff member implying that it happened because I had not paid the balance of the water account on the last property and that I have to go to my bank in order to receive a refund. By this time, rather irately, I insisted that Thames Water put the money back and the only response I received was “we can’t do that, we can’t do that” over and over again. Thames Water are thieves, who are earning interest on money they have taken from my bank account without my authorisation. I don’t know where to turn to in order to report this, so if you have any advice, please let me know!

  2. Make sure that you have cancelled your direct debit, and that your bank confirms this.

    Here are two email addresses that may help escalate your problem outwith the customer "help" centre


    Write also to your local media and MP.

    Good luck!

  3. Thanks for that, I will do. Good luck with your refund!

  4. You may find the water Consumer Council some help. But don't expect any help from Ofwat: my experience of being ripped off by Thames Water is that (a) Thames Water thinks its behaviour is perfectly justifiable--and (b)Ofwat thinks so too.

  5. There once was giant firm that cheated
    Its customers till they grew heated.
    But when they cried "Foul!"
    It just said "You can howl,
    We're Thames Water, we can't be defeated."

    No copyright claimed, not my original. But worth repeating, why don't you, wherever you can?

  6. It seems that Thames Water cannot be trusted with direct debits. After complaining about an estimated bill that was about twice the average consumption, Thames Water reduced the bill but them promptly deducted the amount twice from my account.