“ Thames Water is the largest UK water company, covering an area of 5000sq miles across London and the Thames Valley. 8 million people are supplied drinking water from 20,000 miles of water mains treated at 100 water treatment works. Sewerage services are also provided to 13 million people in the Thames Water area with a network of 351 sewerage treatment works and 40,000 miles of sewers. „
Of course it seems quite pointless writing a review for a water company, seeing as you can't exactly switch suppliers like you can with other utilities!
Initially, ThamesWater were very good when I first moved in - I phoned up to enquire about having a water meter fitted, and the customer service people were happy to tell me that my current fixed cost was the lowest that there was (as my three storey maisonette is technically classed as a one-bedroom flat!) - in other words, a meter would probably cost me more. Super!
Setting up a monthly direct debit was striaghtforward enough. My useless letting agents had not informed any of the utility companies of the change in tenancy (because we paid them a £200 'admin' fee for fun) but we faced the least amount of trouble from Thames Water when we told them we had only moved in in June.
However, last week I got a letter addressed to the 'Occupier' telling me my water was about to be switched off as we hadn't paid! I phoned them up to find out what was going on; apparently the previous tenants owed money - probably on the two months after they moved out - but I wasn't to worry as my supply wouldn't be turned off (why threaten to, then??). But even though I gave them the letting agents address so they could get a forwarding address for the last tenants, I've since had several letters from debt collectors threatening us over the £30 owed.
Obviously I can ignore these as the debt isn't mine, but it's poor form to send debt collectors to a property when the new occupier has already informed you that the debtor doesn't live there (although that should have been obvious, what with the 6 months of direct debits from a new account!).
If I could switch, I would!
I can't give no stars as a rating here, but I would if I could!
I completed the purchase on my current house on the 4th January 2008.
In November 2007, during sales negotiations, I had visited the house to find that the road had been dug up by Thames Water. A big trench in the road, surrounded by barriers.
The roadworks were still there at the beginning of January 2008, but by the time I moved in on the 25th January, the road had been resurfaced and barriers had gone.
Two days before Easter 2008, just I was about to leave for work, a bloke knocked on the door asking me to move my car, because "they were about to dig up the road for Thames Water". On getting into my car, I noticed a piece of cardboard behind the windscreen wiper which said, in handwritten pen: "We need to dig up the road. Please move your car or the Council will move it for you". This had been placed on the car that morning.
Having dug up the road for the second time in 4 months, the hole was left until after the Easter holidays, with no progress made at all.
I complained to my local council (Greenwich - "the Green Council") and to Thames Water. Greenwich Council passed the buck to Thames Water, and passed my letter to both Thames Water and Skanska (the construction company who actually dig up the roads "on behalf of" Thames Water).
Thames Water replied with a condescending letter from an obviously made up "person" (Gareth Drinkwater - get it? drink water). The letter basically said that Thames Water inform customers of work by placing signs on lampposts, writing to them and inviting them to "consultation" sessions about upcoming work. In this case, as I've said, I knew nothing of the works until they started and asked me to move my car. Thames Water said in the letter that the Council would move my car to make way for the works, and I would be liable for any costs to recover it. On the other hand, the Council, in its letter, explicitly state that it would not move my car on behalf of Thames Water. (!?).
Skanska's reply was, on the face of it, more straightforward: It actually apologised for the inconvenience (Thames Water "understands my frustration", but sorry? - no), and then continued to say that the reason I had been not informed of the work was because its "supervisor" had not followed correct procedure - procedure which should include the posting of letters to residents and street signs warning of the work. The Skanska letter went on to assure me that the people responsible for this shortcoming had been fired from the company!
10 days after Skanska had assured me that the work would be completed, the hole in the road was filled in, and the barriers removed. Phew, I thought!
2 days before the Spring Bank Holiday 2008 is due to start, I arrive home to find my car surrounded by barriers and dug up roads. One day later, and the road is almost completely blocked to traffic, there's no access to my property, and once again, none of the agencies involved has had the competence or decency to let any of the residents know that they're going to dig up the road for the third time in seven months, for exactly the same reason! This despite assurances that the work would be finished in April and that the people who had not followed consultation procedures had been sacked from the company!
So, once again, my road is almost blocked, I can't park my car, and what's worse, the delivery of a bathroom and floor that I'd arranged for this weekend is likely to be scuppered because of Thames Water's arrogance and cavaliar attitude toward its customers and local residents.
My "Green" Council is constantly ramming the "environmental" message down everyone's throat - Thames Water claim that its works will benefit the environment, but repeatedly digging up and resurfacing roads doesn't seem that environmentally conscious to me!