Thursday, 22 September 2011

Thames Water Update - Still No Meter Fitted

It's over a month since I wrote about the problems I've had getting Thames Water to install a water meter at my property. Thames Water thinks it's so well run it paid it's Chief Executive £1.6m last year.

Thames Water's Director of Customer Services Mike Tempest did email to apologise that 5 months have passed since I requested a meter. Thames will pay me £90 compensation for their failure to keep their Guaranteed Standards and to say how sorry they are. They also promised to fit a meter between 10 and 12 on Saturday 10th September.

The plumber (from a subcontractor H2O) arrived at 8.30 and then skulked away after waking me up. He returned on the dot of 10am and apologised he'd rung my bell so early - he hadn't read the job sheet properly. This is the first time Thames have ever done anything for me ahead of their schedule.

But the plumber didn't fit a meter as promised by Thames, he advised it would be better fitted at the outside stop-cock in the front garden, so a crew would have to come and do that on another day.

A week later a company called Vennsy's called to tell me they would call on Tuesday 20th September at 8.30 to fit the meter. I told them I wouldn't be in, but gave them permission to access my front garden. They called me at lunchtime on the agreed day to say they hadn't been able to fit a meter. They couldn't park their van in my street. I wish I'd been there, parking isn't a common problem where I live. They promised to phone the next day and re-arrange the appointment. I didn't hear from them again until two days later.

Today Vennsy's finally phoned back. They'll try and do the job next Wednesday between 8 and 10am. I don't mind, Thames Water promise a £50 compensation payment when they don't keep an appointment. I reckon I'm £50 up already.

Vennsys were awarded a 10 year contract in January 2011 to carry out all Thames Water's meter installations. Thames said as they announced the deal 'Ten year contracts are unusual in the water sector' but it 'demonstrates the importance of metering'.

Well done Thames and Vennsys, your partnership is a triumph. I presume this must be the same contractor who turned up at my property in March, and didn't fit a meter or bother to contact me, or let Thames know they hadn't done the job.

I'll be writing to The Consumer Council for Water and regulator Ofwat to advise them just how committed Thames Water has been to fitting a water meter at my property. I'll also email this blog to Mike Tempest so he can see how well the partnership with Vennsys is working.

Update: Shortly after receiving this blog Thames Water's Head of Customer Services telephoned me. Apparently the Chief Executive and Director of Services met on Friday morning to discuss the handling of my complaint. Their contractor Vennsy's is also being summoned to head offfice to account for their service standards. My meter will be fitted on Wednesday - and Thames Water will send a field supervisor to ensure the job is completed.
Further Update: At 11:15am on Wednesday 28 September 6 months after I requested one Thames Water finally fitted a water meter at my property. I emailed them 3 times, phoned them once, and wrote to the Chief Executive twice. They visited my property 5 times before they successfully met their statutory obligation. They have agreed to pay me £90 compensation under the Government imposed Guaranteed Service Standards scheme. I would of course cease to be a Thames Water customer if I had any choice but I don't.


Anonymous said...

Great site. This happened to me with regards to Thames Water. It was shambolic. I waited over 8 months just to get a water meter assessment. In that time, there were 2 different contractors. They got rid of one as there were so many complaints. Someone at TW told me that! Dont know what happened to the second, as it seems to have changed again from the info in your blog. The contractors would not ring the bell but push a calling card through & disappear, or ring and say "Im here" when I wasnt, or just turn up when I wasnt in, without any advance warning.
They have made a lot of mistakes with my account and are continuing to do so. I am having to write to Mike Tempest again. He did give me £50 compensation, although you were definitely heads up with your £90. Well done on highlighing these problems from a company, that you have no choice but to deal with.

Anonymous said...

Thames water are the worst company I have ever had to deal with. I am sorry jump on your Blog about water meters. There call centre does not relay the relevant information to the relevant dept the whole firm is a waste of Time they employ bullys and bull shiters!!

We have did not have a sewerage system for over eight months and were flooded by raw sewerage several times and were told somebody will be with you in two hours great service not. The chief Executive has the cheek to take a payment of that amount shambolic and a disgrace. Ofwat and watchdog are coming your way and i would like to meet Mr Temest on Tv and our day will come Sir you mark my words.

Thames has the monopoly as there is nobody to challenge them to supply our water or sewerage services they hold all the cards. I would urge you all to take legal action against Thames. The money they waste on different contractors is amazing survey after survey. It would appear the contractors they use can pick and choose there work very wrong in my book.

I will defend one of there contractors Cappagh to the Hilt. Furthermore, two of Thames staff have been brillant with us but they hit brick walls within the company. If you do read this Blog Mr. Tempest Davies is the surname and viewland road should ring bells.

If anybody does take action against Thames use a company called Winkworth Sherwood they love Thames Honestly. Would you live in a house Mr. Tempest flodded by raw sewerage and use a portable toilet outside your front door having to take your children outside in the night to a dark portaloo, and then clean it out as it wasnt the contractors job to empty out Im not putting my hands in there they would say so guess who cleaned it out yes us. You should be ashamed of yourself Man

The Chief Executive said...

Sorry to hear of your sewerage nightmare. Mike Tempest has left Thames Water. The new Customer Services Director is Natalie Beckerman. She eventually sorted out my meter and we agreed compensation to make up for their appalling service.

I see that Thames Water now promise customers that if they don't fit a water meter within 60 days of application they don't charge for any water.

Their paypackets don't get any smaller though.

cllr Alex Copland: Loughto Town Council. Essex. said...

I have only just entered the 'Water Meter' game.

According to their estimates, my bill should be in the region of £150 per annum. However, due to their addiction to Hollywood Blockbusters they have upgreeded me to £350. Wow!

Owing to the peculiar architecture of the block I live in, (there is a common supply to non - drinking outlets: i.e. hot water heaters etc.)

An elderly lady, who lives just a few doors from me, told me, upon my enquiry, that she had been refused a water meter because she might have hit her head on it.

I am a Town Councillor. I do not seek the anonymity afforded by the internet. My name is Alex Copland. Your next search will reveal my ultimate identity.

Thames Water picked on the wrong...............


Anonymous said...

Have thames water improved since these posts! I was thinking of getting a meter!! Don't won't all the hassel though

Anonymous said...

no they have not got any better.I was due to have have a meter fitted yesterday 31/08/12 between 8-12.Had been booked for this day and time since the 23/08/12.Drove all the way back from clevedon, someset to abingdon oxon (I was helping my 73 year old mother prepare for her move)Waiting in the next day and noticed a message left on my phone, it was thames water changing my appointment time from 8-12 to 1300-1700! I had to go to another pre arranged appointment at 1450 and all they had left me was an 0845 number to call which cost me a fortune.Why didn`t they call my mobile which they have? I get a missed call at 1455 from vennsys and as soon as I got the message I called the number left back, no answer so I ran they 1.5 miles home an he was sat outside my property still ,why didn`t he answer the phone then? I asked he he was here for number 36 and then the attitude jumps out from he tutting,rolling his eyes to the sky etc. I told him I called him back but he didn`t answer and he just shouted "i`ve called you twice!" I was not in so he calls me on the home phone to find out where I am and does not call the mobile back!? With the way he was there was no way he was getting in my flat and was told to go.Found a non 0845 number for customer services and they was just as unhelpful, some african lady who just seamed to think it was all a big joke.When I asked when I would get a call back from the meter team all I got was silence. I then said again when will I get a call back today? next week? next month? next year? she finally said I don`t know when and that was it.What a waste of time these people are. I am not holding my breath for the call back.I live in a flat and I am getting ripped off by thames water for £7.90 per week for water thats why I want a meter and they are not bothered if they fit one or not.I live on my own and even they say I am using approx £115 per annum but I am paying nearly £400! Meter fitting ref C53WH

Anonymous said...

Great Blog, its good to know I am not alone. But what is the answer.
 I phoned Thames Water in early July to report my water meter was noisy.

They did not listen, but sent a plumber to fix a leak .  There was no leak.
The TW plumber removed the noisy meter, however joints in the pipework created in taking out the meter leaked.

I phoned TW reporting the leak and asking when will I get a new meter ? 
They did not listen, nothing happened.
I emailed TW twice. Nothing Happened.
I wrote to TW and eventually they arranged a new meter to be fitted by Vennsys
That happened and on 10th August the meter was installed but the original leak remained.

I phoned TW customer relations and complained the original leak persisted.

Thames Water told Vennsys they had caused the leak, which was untrue and not what I had said. Venysyss told TW the true situation but nothing happened.

I wrote to TW by recorded delivery on 21st August and have proof they received it.  
No reply.
I next contacted the Consumer Council for Water, apart from an automated response, nothing happened.
I contacted CCW again a week later.  I had a response from Cambridge,
I live in Surrey.

Firstly they replied to a consumer response form I had filled in on line regarding
a shared supply.
Then in another email they realised my complaint was about a leak.

However they too did not read what I had written and referred to a leaking meter.

For the last 62 days I have had a leak in pipes put in on 11th July by a TW plumber.

OFWAT don't deal with consumers, CCW don't read what is sent to them.
Thames Water do nothing.

I wrote to OFWAT who forwarded my complaints to CCW !

CCW replied that TW had told them a plumber would attend and,
“Kemac should contact you directly to arrange an appointment.
I heard nothing from Kemac.

Instead a Vennsys plumber arrived the next day.
He took pity on me and although the leak was not of his making tried to fix it.
He pointed out the original TW plumber had used damaged copper pipe making it impossible to make a good joint. He stopped that leak. However after he had left another joint was leaking.

Now the nightmare begins in earnest.
I reported the leak was still there to CCW and that I was having a kitchen fitted the next day. The kitchen fitter tightened the joint, he couldn’t be expected to wait for action from TW.

The sink unit is now fitted. Behind it I can see water on the floor.
The previous Vennsys leak has returned.
As far as I can see it is inaccessible to spanners and wrenches.

TW phone offering £30 compensation.
TW if you read this, I find that insulting.
All I wanted was a noisy meter replaced.

jay kothari said...

We have a foul strong smell coming from the drain on Edgar Rd in Chadwell Heath, Romford for several months now and have contacted their waste planning dept in Reading numerous times since 13 August.Various excuses from the olympics (10 miles away)to other emergency work is being delayed and more excuses. Am unable to get the e mail or postal address of the chief executive to escalate the problem as dates were quoted but missed. Several officials have turned up to investigate and reported back for action. It seems there are more chiefs than indians @ Thames Water and we the residents have to put up with the problems until they are ready to act.
Surely if we failed to pay our bills they would act like a ton of bricks. I hope that someone on the forum would be able to provide details of the heirachy to whom we can write to complain.

Anonymous said...

I asked for a water meter! He ended up fitting it on the gas pipe

Anonymous said...

To be honest, Vennsys is a shocking organisation made up of 3 organisations, one of which is called H2O (also referred to as H2NO by Anglian Water).

H2O couldn't fit through a door let alone a water meter.

H2O have just been kicked out of Thames Water as they sub managed Metro Rod badly!

H2O is run by an ex Thames CEO and Veolia (part of Vennsys) is also run by an ex Thames CEO.

Funny old world we live in!!!!

Anonymous said...

Their MD is Matthew Hardcastle 07770688389 he will happily sort out your meter installation problems.