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Water meter problem.

Water meter problem.

Old Jul 2nd 2010, 1:30 pm
  #1  
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Default Water meter problem.

I found out about 6 weeks ago that my water meter had been crossed with my neighbour behind us. When the builder built the houses he numbered the pipes wrong so we have been paying their bill and they have been paying ours for the last 8 YEARS!!!!!

I contacted aguagest and they came up the following day and solved the problem.

The problem we now have is that while we have 2 kids and live here all year, our neighbours have a holiday home and coe out about twice a year.

I always thought our water was very reasonable but never though too much about it and I am surprised our neighbours never quieried their high bills even though they were not here and dont rent the place out. I told them that we would sit down and sort something out. They went back home and came back about 1 week ago. I did say I would go round and see them but with working full time and 2 kids to look after the days fly by and I didnt have the chance to see them. When we were leaving the house yesterday to take my daughter to summer school he was waiting for us. I apologised for not going to see him but he was not a happy chappy and started being really off with us saying we never had any intention of paying him back the money etc....

I was quite annoyed at his attitude and pointed out that i actually went to him in the first place to tell him of the problem and if I had not done so the problem could have gone on for years to come. We worked out that we actually owe them about 1,000 euros and we dont have that kind of money at the moment. Does anyone know where we stand leagally on this? Could the builder be held accountable? I really dont know where to go on this and it is starting to worry my wife a lot.
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Old Jul 2nd 2010, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Go round with a bottle of decent wine.
Sit down
Try and keep calm on both sides.
Explain again that it was your investigation that lead to the problem being discovered
Explain the fact that you cannot afford a one off payment like that
Offer to pay €100 / mnth or whatever.

But do try and keep it calm.

What can he do:- Thump you, not really. Go to court, it will take years.
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Old Jul 2nd 2010, 3:41 pm
  #3  
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by Fredbargate
Go round with a bottle of decent wine.
Sit down
Try and keep calm on both sides.
Explain again that it was your investigation that lead to the problem being discovered
Explain the fact that you cannot afford a one off payment like that
Offer to pay €100 / mnth or whatever.

But do try and keep it calm.

What can he do:- Thump you, not really. Go to court, it will take years.
Or alternatively, tell him to naff off and not be so miserable. It's his problem, don't give him a penny. He's only there sometimes so it's no skin off your nose.

On second thoughts better try Fred's way first
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Old Jul 2nd 2010, 3:57 pm
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by jimenato
Or alternatively, tell him to naff off and not be so miserable. It's his problem, don't give him a penny. He's only there sometimes so it's no skin off your nose.

On second thoughts better try Fred's way first
Believe me with his attitude yesterday I nearly told him that he wasnt getting a penny. But the wife calmed me down. A lawyer friend of my father-in-law(spanish) said that either us or them could try and claim compensation from the builder. How long would that take though?
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Old Jul 2nd 2010, 4:20 pm
  #5  
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by CBANDY
Believe me with his attitude yesterday I nearly told him that he wasnt getting a penny. But the wife calmed me down. A lawyer friend of my father-in-law(spanish) said that either us or them could try and claim compensation from the builder. How long would that take though?
Just tell him really it`s not your problem but the builders.
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Old Jul 2nd 2010, 4:56 pm
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by jdr
Just tell him really it`s not your problem but the builders.
I had a similar problem in the U.K. with Gas. I the shopkeeper was paying the bill for myself and a flat above. I used very little none at all in Summer. I queried the cost when I took a meter read in the summer and my boiler had been turned off.
The supply company refunded me and did a deal with the owner of the flat to pay in installments. His problem was there had been a few tennants in the time. I expect he was left paying the bill. I never asked! The water company may do the same for you. Ask them.
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Old Jul 3rd 2010, 8:59 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Go round to see him & tell him that you feel so bad about upsetting him you've gone back to aquagest and asked them to return the connections to what they were as everyone was happy up till then.
After he's calmed down then offer him an instalment plan pointing out that if it wasn't for your honesty he would have been none the wiser.
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 10:33 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by Bomber Harris
Go round to see him & tell him that you feel so bad about upsetting him you've gone back to aquagest and asked them to return the connections to what they were as everyone was happy up till then.
After he's calmed down then offer him an instalment plan pointing out that if it wasn't for your honesty he would have been none the wiser.
When someone rattles your cage badly like this, the best thing to do is sit down and write, and then rewrite a letter. This helps you calm your mind. Don't post it though!
It seems this person has lost the right from their 'snottines' for you to be as reasonable as you were trying to be.
If you're a really honest person you'll want to pay your dues. But the truth is, if you'd understood the price of water after your first bill, you probably wouldn't have used so much would you? So this leaves the builder partially responsible. Don't offer to pay by letter without talking it over with your lawyer first because that forms a contract.
Also try to guess how much less you would have used if you'd known the price. Then pay the neighbour that much..in instalments and only offer this verbally. Your neighbour will have to take out a 'denuncia' against you for the rest. He probably won't bother but if you are armed with all the reasonable guesses etc the chances are any 'judge' would refer the matter back for a denuncia against the builder instead.
Keep records of everything done and said. Up till now and from now.
Then soak your overheated head in a nice cool bath;-) (half depth of course!)
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 10:36 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by angiescarr
When someone rattles your cage badly like this, the best thing to do is sit down and write, and then rewrite a letter. This helps you calm your mind. Don't post it though!
It seems this person has lost the right from their 'snottines' for you to be as reasonable as you were trying to be.
If you're a really honest person you'll want to pay your dues. But the truth is, if you'd understood the price of water after your first bill, you probably wouldn't have used so much would you? So this leaves the builder partially responsible. Don't offer to pay by letter without talking it over with your lawyer first because that forms a contract.
Also try to guess how much less you would have used if you'd known the price. Then pay the neighbour that much..in instalments and only offer this verbally. Your neighbour will have to take out a 'denuncia' against you for the rest. He probably won't bother but if you are armed with all the reasonable guesses etc the chances are any 'judge' would refer the matter back for a denuncia against the builder instead.
Keep records of everything done and said. Up till now and from now.
Then soak your overheated head in a nice cool bath;-) (half depth of course!)
but surely it's the water company or the builder who should be denounced?
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by CBANDY
I found out about 6 weeks ago that my water meter had been crossed with my neighbour behind us.

The problem we now have is that while we have 2 kids and live here all year, our neighbours have a holiday home and coe out about twice a year.

I always thought our water was very reasonable but never though too much about it
You had to know that there was something unusual about your water bill because if as you say your hapless neighbour came to his property twice a year you would have had some bills without consumption yet you live there all year round.

You dont say how you were made aware of the mix up.

The sensible thing to have done was to have dealt with it immediately by paying up in full or offering to pay installments of say 100 euros per month.
You let the matter drag on, your neighbour quite naturally gets annoyed/angry.

At the end of the day you used the water and you owe the money. If you cant afford to repay the neighbour you certainly cannot consider involving lawyers.
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 10:55 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by lynnxa
but surely it's the water company or the builder who should be denounced?
I agree with you.
The water company have to make the final connection and fit the meter. They should make some checks at that point. They should refund the other person and then work out an installment plan to collect it. Only they have the records of the 2 crossed bills.
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 11:08 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by whitelinen
You had to know that there was something unusual about your water bill because if as you say your hapless neighbour came to his property twice a year you would have had some bills without consumption yet you live there all year round.

You dont say how you were made aware of the mix up.

The sensible thing to have done was to have dealt with it immediately by paying up in full or offering to pay installments of say 100 euros per month.
You let the matter drag on, your neighbour quite naturally gets annoyed/angry.

At the end of the day you used the water and you owe the money. If you cant afford to repay the neighbour you certainly cannot consider involving lawyers.
I disagree strongly. The OP CAN involve lawyers. Even if only for information. Just to protect himself and to make sure he's doing the right thing. It doesn't sound to me as if OP is trying to avoid paying. It's all very well for you to get on your 'high horse'. You maybe could afford to find 1000 at once...easily. If you can, may I suggest you be more charitable...in whatever way you see fit;-) Not all expats find it so easy to get by.
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Old Jul 4th 2010, 11:19 am
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Default Re: Water meter problem.

Originally Posted by olivia
I agree with you.
The water company have to make the final connection and fit the meter. They should make some checks at that point. They should refund the other person and then work out an installment plan to collect it. Only they have the records of the 2 crossed bills.
Now this is the right idea!
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