Sidmouth pensioner receives apology after £7,500 water bill
PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 June 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 07 June 2019
A Sidmouth pensioner has been left distressed and amused after being hit with a water bill of ‘Titanic’ proportions, coming to nearly £7,500.
Dr Louis Herzberg was shocked to see that, in the three weeks between April 5 and April 29 for his former house in Farway, he was being charged £7,448 by South West Water.
He contacted The Herald this week after receiving a final reminder letter threatening court action if the amount was not paid within 14 days.
South West Water has apologised for the inconvenience after a number of reminder letters were sent to the 81-year-old's former address, demanding payment for the eye-watering figure.
Dr Herzberg has been between the Farway address and his wife's property in Sidmouth for the last 20 months while completing the sale of the house.
The retired neurologist made several calls to the water company to address the issue and was told several times it 'would all be dealt with'.
He said: "It has been distressing, no question about it. I phoned lots of times, and there was a guy who said 'that's a lot of water, you would have to have used a lot'. And I said 'enough to sail the Titanic?'
"There must have been five occasions I was told it would be dealt with.
"But the letters kept coming, and then I got a bill with a large amount on it. I have felt the stress - this was an unnecessary aggravation.
"I was living at that address over the last few months. I didn't use the bath or the shower.
"I maybe put the washing machine on once in six weeks and the dishwasher once in a while to make sure things were running.
"I was happy to pay the nominal charge of what little water I had used over the last few months.
"I have been amused by this bill. They have all been very nice - it will be dealt with."
A spokesman for the water company said: "South West Water has contacted Dr Herzberg, apologised for any inconvenience caused and have reached a resolution.
"The cause of this high bill was a complex leakage issue involving multiple parties, but it has now been resolved, and Dr Herzberg will not be charged for this."
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