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Topic # 105577 7-Jul-2012 10:57 Send private message

Guys in Auckland, watch your water bill.  I just got mine where they are changing to a monthly bill and also a price increase and also a volumetric waste charge (removed rates fixed charge) and also add an admin fee.  I am not really against the changes, but my bill is an estimate reading where as I always get an actual reading - I am only a few km from their offices in East Tamaki.  Looking at my meter this morning I've calculated the estimate was 12 kL under the actual, which means if the next bill does not correct the estimate before applying the changes then I will be charged about $15 more than if this month's bill was correct.  Someone is potentially pocketing a lot of cash.

Even worse, the current bill suggests that our daily usage compared to the previous bill has "dropped" almost 20% which is total cr*p when you go into winter so taking longer hotter showers.

I'm tempted to wait until next month and see if they use the actual meter reading and re-estimate this reading.  Or should I/we make an official complain to someone?  I've been in NZ almost 12 years but making official objections is not the kind of thing I'm used to, so keen to hear other's thoughts.  Thanks.




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  Reply # 652210 7-Jul-2012 11:12 Send private message

Is there a process to request an actual reading, or provide the actual reading to them?

Whilst not exactly the same, a number of the power companies have this approach, where you can email or phone them the actual reading.



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  Reply # 652220 7-Jul-2012 12:28 Send private message

Customer reading is not allowed, a special reading is charged at $25. If a meter is faulty then they may at their discretion credit you an amount, but my issue is how they knew for a very long time the pricing will change on 1 July yet they chose to estimate this reading. The issue is also not only 1 customer but potentially the > 1.8 million people they service in Auckland (guess that is > 500 000 meters at $15 potential overcharging each).

I have found the complaint process, just waiting for a few replies here. I'm sure there will be a few interesting ideas posted, based on how many posts there are about electricity meters and remote reading.




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  Reply # 652994 9-Jul-2012 15:43 Send private message

Well, I got a call from Water Care today. After a while the (friendly) guy understood the issue. Their argument is that summer usage is typically greater than winter usage but they will correct the invoice if customers have a concern. Apparently it is 225,000 customers in Auckland that had their meter reading estimated but I wonder how many would have noticed. He offered to take my meter reading and re-invoice me, and said they simply cannot read everyone's meter this month (understandable) so they just did what they thought would be best (more like easiest and home no one notice).

So if you are in Auckland where the waste water charge has changed from fixed to volumetric and your winter water usage is usually greater than your summer usage, phone Water Care and give them your meter reading so that your next invoice will not have waste water charged for (some of the) water used in June.




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