Qualified advisers answering your
Financial Questions
call 0800 092 1245

Water firms issue misleading letters


UK Water firms have been sending out misleading “debt collection” letters to customers who have missed payments.
The letters are made to look like they are being sent from a third party debt collection agency, however they are actually being sent from the water companies. The misleading letters fool their customers into thinking their debt has been sold to a third party.
The water companies have said they only send letters as a last resort. Northumbrian Water, Affinity Water and Welsh Water stopped the process earlier this year, but the UKs biggest domestic water supplier, Thames Water, and Yorkshire Water are still sending out “debt collection” letters. The two suppliers have recently amended their stationery to include links to themselves, but previously there was no indication the “debt collector” had anything to do with the water firms.

A Thames Water spokesperson said:
"Our open and transparent letters do increase in severity.
“When it gets to a final letter, we have found the use of an internally branded debt collection agency approach to be effective and cost-efficient,"

Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority) have said that consumers must not be mislead or scared into making payments.
Chief executive of the charity Citizens Advice, Gillian Guy said: “We're not saying don't pursue debt, clearly companies are entitled to do that, but we are saying that they really ought to do that honestly and with some sensitivity.
"These letters are about increasing the level of aggression to get payment and they're made on the assumption that people won't pay rather than actually that many can't."

Need financial advice?

If you have any personal finance questions related to this news article, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in touch by asking a question online, calling us on 0800 092 1245, or by arranging a visit.

Share this..

Related stories

Financial Guides

Financial Calculators

Our useful calculators can help you get your finances in order:

Latest News


Helpful new tax year facts that could affect you and your money

Blog | Seven helpful new 2016/2017 tax year facts that could affect you and your money. Our recent online blog shares a brief outline on how to stay up to date.

Read more

Useful Links

Popular Searches

Please Enter More Details

Enter More Details