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In October last year Thames Water wrote to us and the three households who we share a water supply line with, to inform us we had a leak. They arranged within 2 weeks to come and visit the house to make sure the leak wasn't within the house.
So on the appointed day I waited in a very helpfful young man came turned the water off in my house and informed me thatthe leak wasn't not in my house. My neighbours also had a visit and were told the same things. Sigh of relief no huge bill, or so we thought.
A few weeks later a large brown envelope popped through our door. Upon opening the letter I discovered a large information pack from Thames Water entitled Household you have a leak. On the top of the information pack was a hand written note saying "Please fill in Acceptance form. Tick yes to shared supply and section C. Please call Paul on......." So I rang Paul, who informed me that although the leak was not in my house it was somewhere on the shared supply line that ran through mine and my neighbours back gardens and it would need replacing.
So I sat down and started to read the information pack. The information pack starts by saying that this leaflet contains important information about your water supply - please read. Basically the leaflet informed be that the leak on my supply line was my responsibility as it was located on my property. Thames water would offer me a special discounted rate that would save me £300, and would cost £150 for the new pipe and another £150 to have a breakthrough, a total cost of £300.
So what is a breakthrough, well I read the information and couldn't find anything to tell me what this was or if I needed it. So I rang my Dad. My Dad before he retired was a water engineer and use to do consultancy for Thames Water. So I explained evrything to him and asked what on earth a breakthrough was and I did I need it. Dad's advice was to get Thames Water to replace the pipe as they would do it cheaper and properly, he then went on to explain that a breakthrough was the pipe that came off the supply line into the house. Yes, I did need it, he explained that if the pipe was replace and not the breakthrough the increased water pressure could cause my old breakthrough to leak and I would need to call Thames water out again to replace it. So based on that advice I sent off my acceptance form.
A week later I hadn't heard anything so I asked my neighbours if they had heard anything. The only person who had heard from Thames Water was the one who hadn't sent back their acceptance form. they had received a rather abroupt phone call from Thames Water who apparently had told tem that if this wasn't repaired their property would be severly damaged. They had sent back their form after the phone call.
In November we had a letter from Thames Water explaining that one of their crews would be out just before Christmas to dig up our back gardens to repair the pipe. The gardens would then be returned to their former state. So December came and went, as did January. Half way through February we had a letter to inform us that the crew would be out on the 7th March for three days and we'd all need to be at our properties while the work was being done.
So I arranged to work from home for the days neccessary. So today I dropped my children off at the childminders and school and rushed home to be here for 9am when they were suppose to arrive. At 9.30am I received a call from Thames Water explaining that one member of the crew had called in sick and they wouldn't be able to do the work until next week. So I asked when next week and they said Monday, not a problem as my hubby would be off.
So that's where we are now. So what do I think about Thames Water's service, well although they're literature is quite detailed I was surprised not to find anything regarding the breakthrough. I was lucky that my Dad knew about it. Their communication is good when they want something, but hopeless when they have finally got you to agree to the work. As for the inconvenience caused today, well it wasn't too bad, but it could have been better if I hadn't been dealing with snooty woman, who was making me out to be an inconsiderate b***h. She didn't care about the inconvenince I was being caused, only that that it had too been done when it was convenient for them.
Okay, small update here. Sitting at home playing with the boys and power rangers there's a knock at the door. Open door to be greated by... Thames Water. Sorry to bother yo Mrs Hammond, our crew is coming out on monday to do some work for you and your neighbours do you mind if I come in and take a look around. I'm now confused. Haven't you already done this I ask. Yes, but Paul did the initial survey and he now no longer works for us, so I need to just establish what and where the crew needs to work, is okay for me to come in. Sighs... Yes okay then. Show this guy around he does nothing but look around and asks if by Monday I cold clear the top of the washing machine and move it out the way as his crew will need to get into the space. Great more work today. Moves outside, Mrs Hammond you'll need to move your Guinea Pigs from this area because of the work, also could you clear everything that's in this surrounding area. Yet more work to my to do list. Anything else.. get fed up by this stage... would you like me to dig the hole for you as well! Okay, maybe a little out of line, but really anyone would think I'm awkward! He apologies for the intrusion and leaves. Roll on Monday, so glad hubby dealing withthem Monday not me, I'm losing patience!
I'll update the review again when my pipe is replaced. I'm not convinced they'll repair the garden to it's former state especially as they said they're going to use concrete!
Okay, the last update to this review. I now have a new water pipe, my water pressure is 10 time better, so I suppose that does indicate a leak somewhere along the pipe. They have removed the stop cock in the back garden which left a whole in one of my patio slabs. Thames water kindly filled this in with concrete and matched the pattern of my other patio slabs. My garden is back to its former state and I have to say I'm very impressed by the work they have done. The breakthrough was done done very efficiently and quickly although I'm not overly impressed that to get to my internal stop cock I'll have to move my washing machine each time.
If you have a leak and your water board offer to do the work for you, after my experience I'd certainly recommend you take them up on the offer.