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What to do if you are having difficulties paying your bill
Water and sewerage services have to be paid for, but we know that finding the money can be difficult for some people. The important thing is not to worry. There are a range of options available, many of which can be tailored to suit your needs.
What should you do if you are having difficulties paying your bill
- Tell us
If you are having difficulties paying your water bill it is important that you contact us immediately on 01223 706050.
We have trained advisors available who can offer tailored advice.
Click here to read our Code of Practice: What to do if I am having difficulties paying my bill
- Seek independent advice
If you want independent advice you can contact the National Debt Helpline on 0808 808 4000, or organisations in your local area such as:
- Find ways to reduce your bill
1) Request a water meter - most customers use 10% less water once they have a meter installed just because they are more conscious of what they use. Click here to find out more
2) Repair dripping taps - a dripping tap can waste 25 litres of water every day.
3) Request a free hippo or hog - Cambridge Water supplies hippos or hogs free to all its customers on request. These are simple devices that reduce to capacity of the toilet therefore using less water per flush. Click here to order your free hippo or hog
4) Search the Cambridge Water website - get advice on saving water and purchase water-saving products. Click here to link through to our water efficiency section
5) Pay by direct debit - as well as receiving an annual discount of £3 on your bill you will also be automatically entered into two competitions during the year. Click here to sign up for Direct Debit
- See if you are eligible for a special tariff
- Pay by instalments
At Cambridge Water we offer a range of flexible ways for you to pay your bill. To find out more click here.
- Deduction from benefits:
If you are in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Pension Credit, we may be able to arrange for money to be deducted from your benefit and paid to us. Please remember to tell us if you do this. Alternatively, if you owe us money, we may make a request directly to these agencies for money to be paid to us.
All collection activity on the account will be put on hold while we are awaiting a response from Jobcentre Plus. If approved, these deductions will cover the weekly liability as well as a contribution towards paying off any arrears that may be on the account.
- Contact other agencies that can help
1) Pension Credit
If you are a pensioner and are on a low income you may be entitled to Pension Credit.
To find out more call the Pension Credit application line on freephone 0800 99 1234. Please note that from 6 April 2010 the age at which people get pension credit will gradually increase.
2) Working Families Tax Credit
If you are earning a low wage and you have a family you may be entitled to Working Families Tax Credit. To find out more contact the Tax Credits helpline on 0845 300 3900 or contact JobCentre Plus for more information.
- Other support
It may be worth contacting your local authority's social services department. They will not be able to give you any money to pay your water bill but they might be able to offer help and advice.
It is important to tell us if you are receiving benefits or have approached any other organisations for help.
If Social Services, the Department for Work and Pensions or JobCentre Plus ask us to withhold recovery action while they look into you case, we will do so.
- Querying your bill
What if I dispute my bill?
If you believe that you should not have received a bill or it is wrong you should advise the company as soon as possible. If there is a genuine dispute, any recovery processes will be put "on hold" for investigation.
What if I am a tenant?
If you live in rented accommodation you will need to identify who is responsible for paying the water bill.
Our water charges have to be paid for and this is usually by the person who lives in the property and uses the water. Unless your landlord has accepted responsibility for the charges, by entering into a special written agreement with us, this remains your responsibility. To check whether this is the case you will need to read your tenancy agreement.
If your landlord is responsible for the bill, but chooses not to pay it, we will start to take recovery action against you. If you bill is for a previous tenant it is important you contact us straight away. You can find out more about who is responsible for paying charges here.
We can only help you if we know.
- What if I have a complaint?
Cambridge Water is committed to providing the best possible service at all times. We would like to hear from you if you are dissatisfied with any aspect of our service. We value and act on your comments to improve the way that we deal with other customers in the future. Whatever your problem or complaint, please call us on 01223 70 60 50 between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday. We will look into it promptly and try to resolve it to your complete satisfaction. For more information on our complaints procedure please click here.