Fri | Dec 1, 2023

Bills, bills, bills but no water

Published:Tuesday | February 9, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The EDITOR, Sir:

There appears to be a total disconnection between supply and billing at the National Water Commission (NWC). I had not received a single drop of water from this utility company between early September 2009 and up to the last billing date of January 25, 2010, yet as you have heard many times before, the bills keep coming.

I quite understand that if there is no water I cannot have water, but there is no excuse for the general incompetence all-round which results in me being charged month on month for what I have not received. It is simply dishonest of the NWC. I read my meter at regular intervals even when I know for sure that no one in the service area is receiving water. I know what I am talking about.

New billing system

The bills continue to arrive with estimate of the last estimate, of the last estimate, multiplying as they go. Every one knows from simple arithmetic that a mistake multiplied can cause horrendous problems, but these accountants, it seems, have not yet reached this level in their profession.

It is my understanding that these are the people who spend more than $600 million on a new billing system only to end up with the charges being written on a larger piece of paper on which they continue sending out wrongly estimated bills! I wonder where in the new public-sector reorganisation they figure?

Wasted water

Having wasted nearly all the water collected through leaks and illegal connections which they failed to detect, the NWC it appears, is trying to recoup cost through a service charge.

My service charge, on average, is about 55 per cent of the total bill. Do you know of anything in this wide world that carries a service charge as high as this?

I strongly believe that a fairer method would be to drop the service charge to customers who have not or who receive a certain minimum volume of water per period.

Did you also know that the service charge is calculated on a 30-day period, and if these incompetent people failed to estimate for a number of days over this period, the cost to the 'customer' is over 13 per cent per day added to the monthly service charge?

I am, etc.,

P. Foster


St Elizabeth