Services for customers with individual needs

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1 Services for customers with individual needs

2 Introduction As a Southern Water customer, you are entitled to expect the highest standards of service from us. We always try to give all our customers the best of care in a trustworthy and helpful way. However, we know that customers who are elderly or disabled or who have certain medical conditions may have extra needs and concerns. This guide gives you information about a range of additional services we can provide and shows you how you can register for them. How to contact us If you would like more information, you can find this online or contact us in the following ways: Online: By phone: Freephone am to 8pm Monday Friday and 8am to 5pm Saturdays (For emergencies and all non-billing enquiries please phone ) By Minicom text telephone: (24 hours for emergencies) By fax: By writing to us at the following address: Southern Water, PO Box 41, Worthing, West Sussex, BN13 3NZ By to: Please ask us if you would like this leaflet in Braille or audio CD format. 3

3 Always quote your Customer Number When you contact us we need to know your Customer Number which you can find near the top right hand corner of your Southern Water bill. Write it down in the box below. Your Customer Number: Payment Reference: 4

4 Caring for people with individual needs In order that we can give the best possible service, we keep a confidential register of customers who have individual needs. The register makes sure our staff know about any special circumstances or needs you may have. If you want to have your name on the register, please either complete the registration form at the back of this leaflet or telephone our helpline on You can also add the name of anyone else living in your home who you think would find our services helpful. The services we offer Talking bills: If you re partially sighted or reading on behalf of a blind person, please phone and ask for our talking bill service. When your bill is produced, we will telephone you to tell you how much it is before posting it. We can also discuss with you any query or complaint you might have about your bill or about any of our other services. Large print or Braille bills: Please ask us if you would like your bills or correspondence sent to you in large print or Braille grade 1 and 2. Audio bills: You may prefer an audio bill. When your bill is produced, we will arrange for a CD to be made confirming all the details recorded on the bill before posting it. 5

5 Choosing someone to receive your bills: We can arrange for your Southern Water bills to be sent to someone chosen by you for example, a carer or a friend. This may be helpful if you find it difficult to handle, read or understand your bills. Reading your meter: If you receive your water supply from Southern Water and have difficulty reading the water meter because it is hard for you to reach it, please let us know. We can arrange for your meter to be read regularly and for you to receive details of the meter readings. Minicom and Typetalk: If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech difficulties, you can use one of the following facilities to contact us (provided you have the appropriate equipment): A 24-hour Minicom service. Typetalk relay service. You can also contact us by or fax. All the details are on page 3 of this leaflet. Home visits: Our staff are trained to offer friendly, helpful advice on anything to do with the water supply or wastewater service we provide. If you wish, we can arrange for someone to visit you at home, at a time agreed with you, for advice on water efficiency or how to pay your bills. 6

6 How we can help if your water supply is interrupted We provide you with a constant supply of water, but sometimes there are unavoidable interruptions, such as when a pipe bursts or we have to turn the water off to repair a leak. Once you have registered with us, we will contact you if your water supply is interrupted and ask if you need help. For example, if you are a kidney patient on home dialysis, we will be able to provide you with a priority service. How to recognise authorised staff Everyone wants to feel safe and secure in their home. Unfortunately, older people and those with disabilities can be particularly vulnerable to callers who pretend to be officials. Always ask anyone who comes to your door for proof of their identity and check it carefully. There are several ways you can check the identity of our representatives. Identity cards: All our staff and people calling on our behalf carry an identity card with their photograph and name on it and should always show you the card when they visit you. 7

7 If you are not sure that a caller works for Southern Water or one of our agents, phone us on (24 hours a day), give your Customer Number and check that we sent the caller. Ask us to tell you the name of the caller and whether it is a man or a woman. Password scheme: You can ask to join our password scheme. You can choose your own password and we will only give this to representatives who need to call on you. Ask them to quote the password you have agreed with us. Use a word you find easy to remember. 8

8 Remember: If you are not sure that your visitor is someone you should invite into your home, you should always: Fasten your security chain before you open your door. If you don t have a security chain, talk through the letter box but don t open your door. (You should consider getting a security chain fitted as soon as possible.) Ask for the caller s identity card. Take the card and look at it to make sure they are who they say they are. If you are still not certain that the caller is genuine, phone 999, ask for the Police, give them your name and address when they answer and say you are frightened by a strange visitor. Safety first Sometimes we may need to call on you at your home and when we do we want you to feel safe. Although not a huge problem, bogus callers who pose as water company officials are, sadly, a fact of modern life. Our advice is always be AWARE of bogus callers: A ttach your door chain before opening the door to strangers. Water company staff and our contractors always carry identification. uniform and vehicle logo are things A company R emember, E mployees to watch for. if you are unsure, keep them out and either telephone us on or the local police. of Southern Water will always be happy to wait. 9

9 Paying your water bills Your water bill is either based on a meter reading, or on the rateable value of your property as shown in the valuation list as at March Customers with a metered water supply generally receive a bill every six months which shows the meter readings at the start and end of the charging period. Alternatively, charges for unmeasured water supplies are billed in advance and payable in two instalments on April 1 and October 1 respectively. You can find more information online at Instalments: You can pay your bill in instalments at no extra cost in any of the following ways: by monthly Direct Debit or standing order through your bank on our automated line by monthly, fortnightly or weekly instalment card which can be used without fee at any Post Office or NatWest Bank branch. by credit or debit card. via PayPoint wherever you see this sign If you would like to pay by instalments, please contact us for further details on Are you having difficulty paying? If you are worried about paying your Southern Water bills, we will do all we can to help. We can make special payment arrangements to help you pay for our services and repay any money you already owe. 10

10 We will always take account of your personal circumstances and try to come to a mutually agreeable payment arrangement. We may also be able to suggest other ways you can get help. Please contact us as quickly as possible if you have difficulties paying your bill. We will do everything we can to help you. To register for any of our individual services, please complete the attached form, tear along the perforation marks and return it in an envelope to: Customer Service Centre Southern Water PO Box 41 Worthing BN13 3NZ If you have any questions, please telephone: WaterSure If your water supply is metered and you are receiving one or more means-tested benefits or tax credits and either you have 3 or more children under 19 or you have a specified medical condition that causes you to use significantly more water, you may be able to get help with your water bill. For more information, please call

11 Registration Form I would like to register for your individual services Name Address Postcode Telephone No. (incl. area code) Standard telephone/minicom/fax/typetalk* (* = delete as appropriate) Customer Number: (You will find this number near the top right hand corner of your bill.) Payment Reference: Tear here 12

12 So that we can be as helpful as possible, please tell us which of the following apply to you: (Tick more than one if appropriate): Partially sighted Blind Reading difficulties Deaf Hard of hearing Speech impediment Wheelchair user Home dialysis patient Other (please supply additional relevant information): Please be assured that any information you give us will be treated in the strictest confidence. Only relevant staff will have access to your details to provide you with the most helpful service possible. 13

13 I would like to receive the following services: (tick as many boxes as you need to) Help if my water supply is interrupted Large print bills and letters Braille bills and letters Grade 1 Grade 2 Talking bills Frequent meter readings Contact by: Minicom Typetalk Fax 14 My address is Password scheme My password is Tel no. Please write your password down somewhere safe so you can remember it.

14 I would like someone else to contact you about my account but I still want the bill sent to me: Their name Relationship to me I would like my bill sent to someone else on my behalf: Their name Their address Postcode Telephone No. (incl. area code) Relationship to me Signature I declare that the information I have provided on this form is complete and correct to the best of my knowledge. I authorise Southern Water to use this information to provide the most helpful service possible, whilst treating the details in the strictist confidence. 15

15 If you would like any further information, please contact: Customer Service Centre Southern Water PO Box 41 Worthing BN13 3NZ Telephone: z_ADDN Southern Water Dec 2010

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