OfWat Complaint about misleading Severn Trent information

Severn Trent have the following on their website :

Why will water bills go up for everyone and not just the people who are having their sewers adopted?

Water companies already maintain all shared pipes (sewers) for properties built before 1937. Therefore all our customers currently contribute to the cost of us providing the service to customers who have older houses. The transfer makes the situation fairer for all, so that all customers benefit from us maintaining shared pipes (sewers), irrespective of the age of the property. Any property that is connected to the sewerage system pays a share of the cost of operating and maintaining the whole system. Therefore, as the costs of maintaining the system will increase, the costs are shared out across all customers.”

This does not answer the question. It is deliberately misleading and designed to confuse consumers. It contains empirical falsehoods :

“The transfer makes the situation fairer for all, so that all customers benefit from us maintaining shared pipes (sewers)” empirically false.

There is no benefit to customers without shared pipes of other customers with shared pipes having coverage.  In fact it may force up the insurance required to cover these pipes as we will be a disadvantaged minority.

My House was built prior to 1937 and it has no shared sewer.  I paid to repair our sewer so I happen to know how our sewers work, but how many people do?  I receive no benefit from this change and am apparently expected to subsidise others problems.  This is not fair and does not treat all customers equally, only those with shared sewers.  So it appears a minority is being forced to subsidise the majority.

The above seems to deliberately avoid answering the Frequently Asked Question, it is misleading and insulting to consumers.  Can you please get them answer the answer the question without resorting to obfuscation and lies.

I would also like to know why I am expected to pay anything for a service I am NOT receiving. Severn Trent is a private limited company and it strikes me as morally dubious to charge a customer for a service they do not receive or benefit from.  This may have been acceptable when an industry is nationalised when the “national good” can be quoted, but what is the legal basis for a private company using its monopoly position to charge all customers for a service that only benefits some customers?  This is particularly onerous as it appears the minority will be subsidising the majority rather than the majority subsidising the minority.

Nigel.

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