How to pay We want to help

We want to help
How to pay
As a Bristol Water business customer, you
are entitled to a high level of service from
us and our joint billing company, Bristol
Wessex Billing Services Limited (BWBSL).
In return, we ask you for prompt payment metered bills are due for immediate
payment and unmetered bills are due
on 1st April.
We offer a variety of ways in which you can
pay your bill:
We know that for some business customers
finding the money to pay can sometimes be
difficult. This code of practice explains how we
can help in these circumstances and what will
happen if you cannot or do not pay on time.
If you have a problem paying
If your company is finding it difficult to pay
or your payment is going to be late, please
contact us as soon as possible. We cannot
reduce your bill, or offer extended credit
facilities, but we have a number of different
payment options to help spread the cost.
If you currently pay an unmetered charge,
you may wish to consider having a meter
fitted. There is a fitting cost but for businesses
with low water use it can save you money.
For a leaflet please call our 24 hour recorded
meter leaflet line on 0845 601 5 983 and
leave your name and address.
If you already have a water meter fitted
there are ways you can save water and so
save money. For information please call
0117 953 6470 between 9am and 4pm
Monday to Friday.
■ direct debit - unmetered customers can pay
annually, twice yearly, or in 10 monthly
payments. Metered customers can pay
monthly on a budget plan or on demand
■ Paypoint – take your bill and payment in
cash to a local Paypoint outlet –
■ at your bank - please take the bill or
payment slip with either cash, cheque or
crossed postal order made payable to
BWBSL. Normally no fee is payable at your
own bank
■ at a post office - please fill in the payment
slip and take the complete bill, with your
payment in cash, to any post office.
■ by credit or debit card – pay by using our
automated speech recognition line
0845 600 1 019*, or by ringing
0845 600 3600 between 8am and 6pm
Monday to Friday; Saturday 9am and 1pm.
■ by post - please write your customer
reference number on the back of your
cheque and send it with the payment slip to
BWBSL, 1 Clevedon Walk, Nailsea,
Bristol BS48 1WW. You should not send
cash through the post. If you must, please
use registered post. Please do not send
post-dated cheques as we cannot accept
liability if we present them early.
Please make all cheques or postal orders
payable to BWBSL.
* payment should be made to Bristol Wessex
Billing Services Limited quoting the 13 digit
reference number shown in the box on the
payment slip.
How to pay continued
Failure to pay
■ BACS (please contact us for account
If you do not let us know that your company is
experiencing difficulties we cannot help you,
and we will take action to recover any money
you owe us.
■ CHAPS or telegraphic transfer
■ on-line - you can pay on-line with a debit or
credit card at: *
■ telephone, TV, PC or remote banking please quote sort code 40-02-50 and
account number 61229737*.
*payment should be made to Bristol Wessex
Billing Services Limited quoting the 13 digit
reference number shown in the box on the
payment slip.
We do not usually accept payment by
instalment, but we may be prepared to make
an arrangement to help you clear your debt.
If you would like further details on any of
the above payment options, please call
0845 600 3 600 between 8am and 6pm
Monday to Friday; Saturday 9am and 1pm.
What if you dispute the bill?
If you do not think you are liable for the bill
or you dispute the amount, please let us know
as soon as possible. We can then resolve the
In the case of a disputed bill you must pay any
amount not in dispute immediately while we
If you fail to pay we are empowered under the
Water Industry Act 1991 to cut off the water
supplied to your business.
Where necessary we may issue a notice under
section 64 of the Water Industry Act 1991
telling you to separate a shared supply from
that of your neighbour. You will have to do this
at your own cost or we may carry out this
work and add it to your bill.
If we need to gain access to your premises,
we can apply to a magistrate for a warrant of
If you tell us that you are the new occupier of a
property where water charges are unpaid, we
will expect you to provide evidence of the
change of occupation date.
Only the following premises are exempt from
disconnection under the Water Industry Act
Amendment 1999:
■ domestic properties
■ schools or places of further education
■ hospitals and clinics
■ residential care or nursing homes
■ children’s homes
■ prisons or detention centres
■ police, fire and ambulance stations
■ public buildings.
Debt Recovery Process
If you do not pay on time, we will either send
you a written reminder or telephone you.
■ will carry out regular checks to verify that
the water remains off
■ will inform the RSPCA if we believe any
animals will be affected and the NFU if it is
a farm
If after that you still do not pay or contact us,
we reserve the right to add statutory interest
and collection and administration charges to
the debt. We may then:
■ will request advance payment from you in
■ disconnect your water supply, and/or
■ begin legal proceedings.
If we decide not to cut off your
water supply
Please note timings can vary according to
individual circumstances particularly your
payment record. If you have a poor payment
history, we may shorten the recovery process.
If you have tampered with the control we will
carry out a permanent disconnection and
recover the cost from you.
What will happen if your supply is
cut off?
If your supply is cut off we:
■ will inform your local Environmental Health
■ will not accept responsibility for any loss of
business or damage to equipment or
property that may occur as a result of the
supply being cut off
■ will not restore the supply until you have
paid your debt and a reconnection fee in full
■ will not guarantee to restore your supply
■ will accept payment in cash, cheque
that has been cleared by TRANSAX or
credit/debit card
If we decide not to cut off your water supply or
you do not pay the debt after the supply has
been cut off, we will issue a county court claim
against you.
A county court claim involves initial court costs
of at least £73 which you will have to pay in
addition to your bill.
If you do not then pay immediately and in full,
the court could issue a county court judgment
(CCJ) against you and in our favour.
Your business will then stay on the county
court register for six years or until you have
paid the debt and all court fees and legal
costs. This could seriously affect any
applications made for credit with other
suppliers of goods and services.
If the debt, fees and costs are still not paid
we will ask the county court to enforce the
judgment. If we have to do this it will add to
our legal charges and incur additional court
fees both of which you will have to pay.
■ will not accept any offer to pay by direct
debit at this stage
How will enforcement action
affect you?
Once judgment has been entered against you,
we can ask the county court to issue any of
the following proceedings:
■ warrant of execution - a bailiff enters your
business premises and seizes goods to sell
at auction to raise the money to pay your
debt and any additional costs incurred
■ personal appearance at court - you are
instructed to attend court in person and
complete a statement about your financial
affairs in front of a judge. The court fees for
serving and carrying out this action, and for
our legal fees, will be added to your debt
■ charging order - if you own your premises,
we may ask the judge to make an order
which prevents you selling it without paying
the debt. If you have a mortgage this will
involve the lender being aware of the details
of your debt and of the county court
judgment against you
■ third party debt order - we ask the judge to
Collection agencies
Unless you have already broken a previous
payment agreement, we will allow you to make
an acceptable offer of payment at any time
during our recovery process. In certain
circumstances, we may refer your debt to a
collection agency. Debt collection agents work
on our behalf to recover monies due. We may
ask them to do this at any time in the debt
recovery process. To safeguard customers we
ensure the agents we use are registered with
the Office of Fair Trading, are members of the
Credit Service Association and so subject to
their code of practice.
In the unlikely event that a debt is pursued in
this way in error or our debt collection agent
acts improperly we will compensate you under
our customer guarantee scheme.
If you do have a complaint about a collection
agent you should telephone us immediately on
0845 600 3 600 between 8am and 6pm
Monday to Friday; Saturday, 9am to 1pm.
make an order to freeze your bank account
and instruct the bank to transfer funds
directly to us to clear the debt
■ bankruptcy - we ask the court to declare
you bankrupt
■ winding up order - we ask the court to
liquidate/dissolve your company.
This code of practice forms part of a suite of
Code leaflets available to customers.
This leaflet is available on request in other
If you have any questions about this code
of practice or you require further information
please telephone customer services on
0845 600 3 600
Our staff can be contacted between 8am and
6pm, Monday to Friday; Saturday 9am to 1pm.
Ofwat - the industry regulator Ofwat regulates
the water industry in England and Wales.
The customer representative is the
Consumer Council for Water. This independent
committee aims to protect customers’
interests and investigate customer complaints
and is free to customers. The local office is:
Consumer Council for Water
2 The Hide Market
West Street
St Philips
You can write to us at:
Tel: 0845 707 8268
1 Clevedon Walk
BS48 1WW
Or e-mail us on
[email protected]
Fax: 0117 955 7037
E-mail: [email protected]
Office hours: 8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to
Or visit our website:
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