A customer is concerned with the location of his water meter and estimated bills

Billing mistakes, Delayed and catch-up bills, Meters, poles, wires and pipes
Case Number 2018/6998
Outcome Conciliation

The Issue

Mr B lived in an apartment in an inner suburb of Melbourne. When he moved into the property 24 years ago, all of the apartments in the block shared one water meter. About 8 years ago, the water corporation installed an individual check meter for his apartment at the back of the property. In recent years, Mr B had been using this area for storage. About 18 months ago, he started receiving estimated bills for his water service. He contacted his water corporation to seek an explanation about the bills. He also asked if his meter could be relocated to another location.

Mr B was dissatisfied with the response of his water corporation and contacted EWOV in early March 2018. An Assisted Referral was raised, but Mr B still could not resolve his complaint with the water company. EWOV decided to investigate the case further.

The Investigation

During the Investigation, the water corporation advised EWOV that it received the application for the installation of the individual check meters from the Owner’s Corporation of Mr B’s block of apartments in 2010. The water corporation also explained that according to its Customer Charter, Mr B was responsible for ensuring that his water meter was accessible at all times for reading and maintenance. The water corporation confirmed that the last actual read was obtained in June 2016. Its meter readers had not been able to access Mr B’s water meter since then. It had also been unsuccessful in its multiple attempts to read the meter remotely since September 2016.

The Outcome

The water corporation advised Mr B that it was prepared to generate future estimated bills based on his self reads if he could provide them over the phone every three months. Mr B was also asked to provide a photograph of the meter reading at least once every 12 months. It offered to refund any overpayments made to Mr B’s account once an actual read was obtained.

The water corporation explained to Mr B that he would need to speak to the Owner’s Corporation and engage a plumber to assess the cost and feasibility of moving the meter. Based on that assessment, Mr B could submit an application to the retailer’s Connection and Metering department to have the meter relocated. However, it also explained that Mr B would be responsible for any cost associated with the meter relocation. Mr B was satisfied with the outcome and EWOV closed the case.

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