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Yorkshire Water ahead of the others
Member Name: lellagrace
Date: 22/08/07, updated on 22/08/07 (1900 review reads)
Advantages: Meters are less wasteful
Disadvantages: Can cost to have one installed
BEST UTILITY COMPANY
For the third year running Yorkshire Water has been crowned "Utility Company of the Year". Apparently this is a first for any utility company and accordingly Yorkshire Water is ranked in front of all other water, telecommunications, electric and gas suppliers. Which must mean they are doing something right.
YW has a customer charter and reading this it seems very reasonable. The full details of this can be read at their website www.yorkshirewater.com
They state they will reply to complaints within a specified time, they will give a two hour slot when making an appointment to visit a property, if water quality is not of the standard it should be then they state that consumers can claim reductions in their bills.
One thing I have noticed in this customer charter is that if they need to take a sample to test the quality of water at a property they will arrange to visit at an agreed time.
I might just take them to task on this now I am aware of it. Let me explain. A few weeks ago I was busy and my son answered the doorbell. "Who is it?" I yelled, but like all sons he ignored me!
When I got downstairs a young woman had been shown into the kitchen and was taking a sample of water from the tap. My son, to give him his due, was watching her carefully, to make sure she wasn't about to rob us. (I hope that is the reason, and not that she was a fairly attractive young woman!!!)
"Hang on a minute!" I said, "Who are you?" Her somewhat tart reply was that she was from Yorkshire Water and she showed me her ID and said "and my van is outside" as if to say that if i needed further proof there it was. She then went on to explain that my house had been randomly selected by the computer for a water test.
I checked with my son that he had asked for her ID before he let her in and of course, having a very security conscious mum, he had done.
The reason I was suspicious was that in our area, as in many others probably, there have been incidents of unscrupulous people posing as water board officials and gaining entry into properties.
Only last week I heard of an elderly lady who had answered her door to a young man and woman. As she had been told, she kept the chain on the door and when they asked to test her water supply she refused. They then (crafty, this) told her that as she had refused them entry they had to get her signature on a form. Of course, she then took the chain off the door and the pair pushed her aside and stole a substantial amount of money. The elderly lady was badly shaken by the experience and more upset because she had actually refused them to let her in, but had still been conned.
If you have any elderly or vulnerable relatives/neighbours then do make sure they are aware of this scam.
Yorkshire Water advise everyone to keep the chain on the door before opening it and to always ask for ID. They can also arrange for staff to use a password if they do have to visit your property and to arrange this you call their offices. (details on the website).
For anyone with a physical disability or with hearing or sight problems, Yorkshire Water will try and help. They can provide bills in large print of braille or they can arrange for information to be sent to someone else on your behalf.
Yorkshire Water pledge to let everyone know, if at all possible, when there is likely to be a disruption in supply.
The website has contact numbers for anyone with queries. For example, it advises who to contact if you notice a water leak, or if you want to know how charges are calculated.
As my house is relatively new we have a water meter as standard, paying monthly by direct debit means we are not faced with a huge water bill. For several years now all new build houses have had water meters fitted as standard. We had actually changed to a meter before we moved here and I would certainly recommend this.
As we are on a meter we tend not to be as wasteful with water. This is not only a matter of saving our pennies, it is also about conserving a valuable resource.
If you don't have a water meter Yorkshire Water will fit one free of charge if you have it in the house under the sink. Otherwise they charge for this. As water rates are determined by the old rateable value of a property, you could find yourself considerably better off if you have a water meter. Before you decide however, do check with Yorkshire Water as sometimes they have special promotions where you can have a meter in the garden or drive, free of charge.
My friend was telling me that she pays 45 pounds a month for unmetered water, whereas ours is around 20. A substantial saving! Needless to say, having spoken to her, she is about to change to a meter.
There are numerous reservoirs in the area which supply Yorkshire Water and it is possible to take a stroll around some of these. The reservoirs are situated in pretty areas and it can make a pleasant day out. Not only can you see how water is collected, but you will be getting useful exercise too!
Recently Yorkshrie Water have been providing more information about the walks around their reservoirs. These information boards help people to learn about the wildlife around the water.
The walks are listed under grading systems, providing details of whether the walks are suitable for disabled or wheelchair users.
In addition, there are sailing clubs and fishing rights on some of the Yorkshire Water reservoirs.
Yorkshire Water have special offers available for water butts and kits to connect them to your downpipes. A great idea to collect all that rainwater we have been having!
They also give tips on how to conserve water by offering top tips for using water in the garden, as well as in the home.
Yorkshire Water offer lots of advice on how to save water and you can find out how much water is used by certain tasks. For example, using a hosepipe (ermm?? Did anyone have to use one this summer???) is wasteful if left on for any length of time. Dripping taps waste water and if you use the dishwasher or washing machine, always make sure there is a full load to be washed.
To find our more about Yorkshire Water, check out their website. They cover the area from Sheffield in South Yorkshire to Richmond in the north.
Summary: Yorkshire water is ahead
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