Thames Water appears to have its customers over a barrel

I AND millions of other Thames Water customers, have received lousy service, and a fine has been imposed on the company providing it. We surely should expect compensation, because we have received inadequate service, much as we would be awarded if, say, a

I AND millions of other Thames Water customers, have received lousy service, and a fine has been imposed on the company providing it. We surely should expect compensation, because we have received inadequate service, much as we would be awarded if, say, a defective car or television was involved.

But no, in this case the compensation, in the form of the fine, will not be awarded to the customers. It will go straight to the Treasury, to be added to the endless pit of taxpayers' money demanded by Gordon Brown. How fair is that?

I refer to the £12.5 million fine imposed by Ofwat on Thames Water for its inadequate performance - less than one per cent of its annual profits.

Many roads in this area have been flooded because pipes have burst. Last year a hosepipe ban was imposed, at the same time as millions of gallons of water were allowed to flow for months from unrepaired pipes.


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I have a nasty feeling that if the £12.5 million fine stands, this cost will merely be passed on to Thames Water's long-suffering customers. They are held to ransom by its monopoly on our water supply.

Obscene profits for its directors and shareholders are much more important than repairing London's decaying infrastructure.

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CAROLE TUCKER

Hillside Gardens, N6

Pardon the pun, but Thames Water must believe it has its customers over a barrel. The company is challenging the Ofwat fine on the grounds that customers will lose out because money will have to be diverted from its repair programme. But customers have already lost out: the fine was imposed because of poor service and the failure to pay customers money they were owed.

I'm willing to bet that Thames Water never once failed to pay its directors and shareholders what they were owed. The only thing more pathetic than Thames Water's lame excuses is Ofwat's inability to do anything meaningful about this national scandal.

JAMES REDMAN

Adelaide Road, NW3

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