Letter: 'Won't pay' customers have water cut off

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Sir: Contrary to the implied message ('Water companies attacked for rise in disconnections', 29 January) on water companies and disconnections, there has not been 'an indiscriminate and 'frightening' increase in the number of households disconnected'.

Water companies are extremely concerned about all their customers and only disconnect customers who 'won't pay' - as opposed to 'can't pay' - and then only as a last resort when all other alternatives have been tried.

Even then, more than 75 per cent of households pay up and are re-connected within 36 hours of disconnection on the terms previously offered.

In Scotland, customers who do not pay their bills are not disconnected, but they can go to prison, which is not the case in England and Wales.

Water companies would like the Government to re-examine the problem of people who are unable to pay their water bills and look to the Department of Social Security to extend their benefits for water.

Yours sincerely,

JANET LANGDON

Director, The Water Services

Association of England and Wales

London, SW1

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