A group of pensioners claim they have been “ripped off” by Severn Trent after paying an ‘unnecessary’ water charge for decades. Residents in the Rectory Close estate in Crick have been paying the water company to channel surface water to the sewers for a number of years. But some neighbours recently found out that their water simply went into soakaways in the ground.

Mary Thomson, 72, who has lived in Rectory Close with her husband John for 40 years, said she felt hard done by after only receiving a six-month refund.

“We’ve lived here for 40 years and have been paying around £60 a year for the water to go into the sewers but it turns out it’s just going into the soakaways and we shouldn’t be paying,” she said.

“We only found out when a new person moved in. They got chatting with neighbours and it came out that they didn’t have to pay, so the neighbour rang Severn Trent and they said ‘no, you don’t have to pay’.

“Our neighbour has lived here for five years and when he rang them they gave him a five-year refund. We’ve had £34.10 back after paying for 40 years.

“There’s just no consistency at all. We feel hard done by to be honest.”

Mary and fellow residents have been delivering leaflets in the area to warn people about the charges.

Jean Garner, who lives in Church Street, has also been affected by the ‘unnecessary’ cost and has helped rally residents in the area.

“We feel peeved that we’ve only got six months back but they’ve been charging us all this time for something that isn’t actually happening,” she said.

“We would like a better payment as a six-month refund when I’ve lived here for 31 years is peanuts really.

“We’ve been told we won’t be charged any more but we’ve paid a lot for it over the years and we feel we’ve been ripped off,” she added.

A spokesperson for Severn Trent said: “We received an inquiry from a customer on Rectory Estate in Crick about surface water drainage charges at her property, last year (November 2014).

“It’s important for customers to let us know if they think they have a soakaway and provide evidence to support this. We have more than eight million customers across our region, who know their properties much better than we do. If a customer discovers that they do have a soakaway, we’ll refund them for the charges that they have paid within that billing year and they won’t be charged going forward, which is the case with our customer on Rectory Estate.

“We’re always happy to help answer any questions on surface water drainage on 0345 7500 500.”

Thanks to the Rugby Advertiser

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