Customers water supply disconnected

John contacted us in mid-January 2020 as his water supply had been completely disconnected by his provider.

He had received a water restriction notice dated 22 November 2019 for $410. However, this notice did not have any date of effect. He had not paid his last water bill because he was on a holiday. His phone was reachable during this time but the provider did not try to call him.

John advised he would pay $410 on 16 January 2020. His provider advised him his water supply would be restored once he paid a reconnection fee.

John asked us to investigate whether the water disconnection was compliant and whether it was fair that he was being charged a reconnection fee. 

Our investigation found that John’s water had been disconnected by a contractor. The provider’s system didn’t indicate whether he was disconnected or restricted. It confirmed that the order affecting John’s water supply was cancelled when he entered into a payment arrangement. The provider was also confused about two properties for which John held water accounts. The disconnection was applied to the wrong address.

We also found that the water disconnection was not compliant as a reminder notice wasn’t issued. Rather than a disconnection, it should have also been a restriction of supply.

Outcome: The provider agreed to reconnect the water supply as quickly as possible. It also offered a $500 goodwill gesture to John in recognition of the disconnection and an additional $80 goodwill gesture. It also agreed to waive any disconnection and reconnection fees. John accepted the resolution and was happy.