BCM a let-down on water overpayments

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Dear editor,

BCM say they are making improvements in the running of this municipality but I have yet to see any such improvements! If one phones the call centre you are extremely lucky if this phone gets answered.

Try leaving a message; they never get back to you. If by such luck the call centre answers the phone and gives you half a dozen phone numbers to call to try and resolve your problem, you will be extremely lucky if one of these phones gets answered in a whole day.

My first gripe is that a new meter was installed on October 18 on my one account. Heaven knows why the meter was changed as I had reported that there was no tap head in the meter box, but there was nothing wrong with the meter. Every month I take my water reading and e-mail it through to BCM. Whoever changed this meter has not sent through all the relevant information to the capture department. No-one answers at the phone numbers I was given to rectify this problem.

In the meantime, I am being charged an “interim reading” which is much higher than what we are consuming, and this is making a total balls-up of the account. Each month I e-mail a copy of the account with the correct reading and consumption calculation and an explanation of what has taken place to half a dozen BCM officials and still nothing happens. My second gripe is that we are being overcharged on our water consumption! Either I am very thick, or my mathematics calculations are not up to scratch. The overcharge may not be a lot, but when one multiplies this by the 10s of thousands of consumers, this must add up to a sizeable figure.

An example below (the rates were taken from the Daily Dispatch showing BCMM tariffs for the year) – used 34 kl

0-6 kl @ 13.5860 = 81.52

7-10kl @ 13.8524 = 55.41

11-20kl @ 19.2392 = 192.39

21-30kl@24.9397 = 249.40

31kl+ x 4 = 125.19

TOTAL R703.91

So R703.91 is what I should have been charged for using 34 kl, but BCM charged R709.10. This may be a negligible figure of R5.19 but if one multiplies it by say 20 000 consumers this amounts to R103 800! Last month our consumption was higher as there was a leak and the overcharge for water was R17.02.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Kathy Wegner

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