A business owner from Warboys has been hit with bills for hundreds of pounds from two companies for a water supply that she says doesn’t even exist.
Anne Shields, of Fenton Road, has received demands for payments from Wave, a firm owned by Anglian Water, and The Cambridge Business Water Company, for a water supply that she says she doesn’t have.
The 75-year-old owns a horse riding stables called Animal Supply ADJ Fenlands, in Puddock Road, and has been charged for both water and sewerage that she hasn’t been using.
A static home on the stable site is only used for customers and isn’t being lived in. It has a chemical toilet and no water supply.
If Mrs Shields needs water for her horses, she uses a tap for which she pays the Warboys, Somersham, and Pidley Internal Drainage Board.
She said: “I have been receiving letters from both companies threatening to get the bailiffs in. I have tried my hardest to contact them both and get it sorted out, but I keep going round and round in circles.
“I’m so worried that I can barely sleep. The place that I am being billed for doesn’t even have a water supply and has a chemical toilet, which is why this is all just so crazy.”
Anne, who lives with her 80-year-old partner David, said that she hasn’t had a bill for the past 16 years that she has used the static home, and was surprised when she started getting letters through the post.
She said: “I really couldn’t believe it when I was being billed hundreds of pounds for water and sewerage that I am not even using. I thought that it must have been a mix up and didn’t want to pay for either of the bills. Hopefully I can warn other people about this so it doesn’t happen to them. It needs to stop”
According to Wave, the non-household water market opened in April 2017 to facilitate businesses using water, and data was migrated into the new market for 2.6million business supply points.
The company has said that a small number of customers in the new market have experienced transfer issues, particularly around eligibility and in this case it was straightforward to transfer Ann back to the domestic supplier.
A spokesman for Cambridge Water Business, a trading brand of Pennon Water Services Ltd, said: “We have been responsible for billing Mrs Shields’ business for water and sewerage since October 2017 when Cambridge Water Business went into a joint venture with Pennon Water Services. We have been working with another retailer, who had also been billing Mrs Shields, and we have had confirmation that they have closed the account they had open in error.
“The property in question is on a water meter and uses water daily. We await an update from Mrs Shields’ wholesale provider, Anglian Water, into her sewerage services. Whilst these investigations continue we have placed a hold onto her account and will continue to work with Mrs Shields to address her concerns.”