In La Marina there are currently more than two dozen complaints sitting in the San Fulgencio Town Hall against HiDRAQUA, a private company which supplies water to the Urbanisation. It is understood there are also many more from the owners of properties situated elsewhere.
The amounts of money involved often run into thousands of euros for water that has apparently been used illegally.
Reports suggest that several people have been falsely accused of using nearly a million litres or more of water, but needless to say regular bills are still being sent to them for usage in the normal way.
The deal works like this: A HiDRAQUA engineer turns up at your house and claims that your meter has been tampered with. The owners of properties that have been affected say they are told that a piece of wire, or a screw, has been inserted into the meter to stop it functioning correctly (see photo).
The engineer shows the ‘tampered’ meter to the homeowner, promptly replaces it, and takes the offending meter away, thereby removing all of the evidence.
Very shortly thereafter residents receive a letter from HiDRAQUA stating they have used xxx amount of water illegally, attached to which is a bill for the usage, always a ridiculously high amount of money. The letter states the total has to be paid within 10 days of receipt.
If you wish to dispute the matter you then have to go to the office with the letter, but even while the dispute is being dealt with the outstanding amount has still to be paid. Most people who have visited the office say that they are disgusted with the way in which they are treated. They receive very little help or assistance and the individual who deals with the complaints is often discourteous and rude.
If the outstanding amount has not been settled within the 10 day period the household is then cut off, this despite the fact that the matter might have been put into the hands of a local solicitor by the homeowner.
Some households are being allowed to pay their bill via a payment plan but should the plan lapse at any stage the water supply is immediately cut off.
Whilst the majority of bills seem to be in the region of 300 or 400 euro there are some cases where it runs into many thousands.
This of course hits most people extremely hard financially, particularly those who are living on little more than a state pension.
Although individual solicitors are being involved progress is very slow as it seems that complaints to the company do not have to be answered directly. Many clients are still awaiting a response.
There is, however, an Action Group in La Marina which is currently being co ordinated by Wim. Please get in touch by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If, however, you have information that you would like to share through this newspaper with other La Marina householders, email me at: email@example.com so that I can publish the detail for all those many other disgusted householders who feel that they are also being ‘conned’.