Friday, June 15, 2012

The waters don't feel right

Apparently we have been overcharged on our water bills. Melbourne Water has suggested we will be paid back over the next five years. Sorry, I want the cash. I have expenses.

David Galbally, a QC, suggests we fill in this template letter and send it to Melbourne Water, wanting repayment in seven days.

Dear Sir,
I advise I am a customer of Melbourne Water [or whichever authority is the relevant authority].  My account number is [insert details].  I have been advised that over the last 3 years or so I have been overcharged with respect to my water bills.
Would you provide me within the next 7 days the following:
• Details of the amount or amounts overcharged in respect of each account rendered;
• When you will repay the overcharged amount and at what interest rate?
Should you not be able to repay my money within a reasonable time, I shall have no alternative but to deduct it from your future accounts together with the current overdraft interest or existing overdraft interest at the time.
I look forward to your reply as soon as possible.
Yours faithfully,
[insert name]

Read more:

I am not an unreasonable person. Seven days is a short time. My own goes like this.

"Please adjust my account by the overcharged amount on my next water bill. Should the credit exceed the amount of the bill, I am quite happy for the remaining balance to be deducted from my subsequent bill."

I think that is more than reasonable. While to me and Premier Ballieu the amount of perhaps $170 might be a hiccough as Teddy Baills suggested, to my mother, it is a significant sum.


  1. Hello Andrew:
    It is almost beyond belief but, sadly, not quite. Here a mistake on the part of the bank to a friend's account, which the bank admitted to, but then said the money wrongly taken would be put back within a year!! True.

  2. I'd be wanting the money back immediately. After all, when they bill you, they expect to be paid immediately. It should work both ways. As for the bank in the above comment, that's just shameful behaviour on their part. A year! No way is that acceptable.

  3. What River said.
    Plus, these companies and banks are really getting out of hand, but it's not like we can go elsewhere with our business when it comes to the water company. And they know that.

  4. What River and Rubye said - they have much harsher repay terms than 'the next five years' - go for it!

  5. I am so using this template, thank you!

  6. I've sent mine off to City West Water. (Aint holding my breath though.)

  7. JayLa, that is quite outrageous and I hope the person did not accept such a delay.

    River, it will be interesting to see what the water company ends up doing.

    Rubye, too true. People here have to be reminded that these companies are owned by the government.

    Kath, it is a wonder it became public at all.

    Onya Cazzie.

  8. LS, I expect something will happen that is going to upset their five year budget that has no allowances for contingencies.

  9. I want my money refunded on the next water bill plus interest no ifs no buts. When you stuff up like this you have to pay the penality just like consumers do when they don't pay their bill on time or not at all :-).

  10. Ditto the other comments. The authorities show little mercy if you underpay them.

  11. All of these shenannigans leads me to the conclusion that Melbourne Water (and by association, the Baill's government which is a beneficiary at many level$ of this chicanery) has been reading the book 'Ponzi Schemes for Fun and Profit'.

  12. One law for the corporations and high flyers - the rest of us would go to jail for stealing (which is what it is as they are knowingly holding it) the millions that they stole

  13. Where does one begin to list all of the many things that stink about the privatisation of essential services, or the control of politics generally by the filthy rich.
    Just waiting for the day one of these autocratic ******s utters the line "let them eat cake". [Which will, of course, be a reference to one of those cakes produced by creatures outstanding in their fields. - oh, wait a minute, that's what they are already feeding us, isn't it?]

  14. Windsmoke, legality and morality are on your side.

    Victor, the so called companies pay massive dividends to the guv. There is plenty of money there.

    LS, Australia's economy is one big Ponzi scheme. If we don't stop building new houses, the whole thing will collapse.

    MC, I always try to be reasonable. It was an accounting error. But five years to correct an accounting error?

    FC, isn't Teddy saying it was just a hiccough a version of let them eat cake? The masses do seem very easily diverted.

  15. Your Mum and countless others Andrew, I'd be very mad, I like your letter more than David Galbally's, go for it!

  16. Grace, to people making these decisions, $170 is nothing, but to some it is nearly a fortune.

  17. For pensioners like my Nanna it's a small fortune. Morons.

  18. Mongrels dipping into our pockets!

  19. Fen, and returned in a lump sum would be very nice for your Nanna.

    Jayne, they are always dipping into our pockets. I just don't want them stealing from us.