Is this just a rant, or is there other published evidence ?

Here are two web sites which report adverse behaviour:

So once we have established that there is a problem, who is responsible. It is of course the employees in the Revenue Protection Department of Scottish Water as directed by their Board, and Scottish Water Business Stream who pursue the invoices which are erroneously raised.

The next question is who in the Scottish Government Administration is supposed to hold these two state owned companies to account. And if they don't then who holds them to account? Answer: Our elected MSP's. And if they do nothing, then it is down to the electorate - often by standing up in court at considerable expense.The diagram below shows the setup as we understand it.

Water Industry - Parliament, Government, Scottish Water, etc

The holding of Scottish Water Revenue Protection team to Account seems to us to operate at the following levels:.

  1. The Board of Scottish Water [including its Ethics Committee] ensuring that its employees adhere to the law - otherwise they bring Scottish Water into disrepute - for which sin immediate dismissal is understood to be the punishment.
  2. The Scottish Government [Administration] - namely the Water Industry Team - ensuring that the Board of Scottish Water run their organisation properly and its charging and so on meet within the requirements of the law.
    • The process is understood to be as follows:
      • Goverment obtains answers to straight forward questions
      • If the Scottish Water Industry’s answers are not satisfactory, Government holds Scottish Water and WICS to Account
  3. The Scottish Parliament holds the Scottish Government [Administration] to account.
    • The process is similar:
      • MSP’s obtain answers to straight forward questions
      • If Government’s answers are not satisfactory, MSP’s hold the Government and WICS to Account
  4. - The Electorate holds the Members of the Scottish Parliament [MSP’s] to account.
    • The process consists of
      • Election of MSP's - MSP’s represent the electorate - whichever way any elector voted
      • MSP’s obtain answers to straight forward questions
      • Electorate hold MSP’s to Account if answers are not satisfactory

And it is at this last level where many MSP's are found wanting.

The BIG question raised by the electorate is:

What happens when the Administration “conspires” with the Water Industry [viz Scottish Water and WICS] to jointly and severally give an unsatisfactory answer to MSP’s.

To which currently there seems to be no solution - the premamble to the Clearup Agenda seems appplicable.

So what actually happens ... It is not a nice experience to be on the receiving end.

  • First you get a letter from Business Stream.
  • Then you get hassled by email and phone.
  • Then they add "collection charges" to your bill. That is ILLEGAL - but who cares.
  • Then they credit the collection charges - that is because they cannot sue for them.
  • The next step is that they subcontract a debt collector. We know of the following ones. Most are members of The Credit Services Association, who do not insist that their members validate that the debt is actually due - especially false ones for Scottish Water Business Stream. Please complain to them directly.
    • Brodies
    • Arvato
    • Orbit
  • When these fail, then the writ arrives, and the games start.
    • There is a court fee to pay to enable you to defend the case.
      • If you are trading as a limited company, you will NOT be allowed, as an Officer of your Company to defend it in court. You are obliged to appoint a solicitor. Typical cost is £5k.
      • If you are a sole trader, you may either:
        • Defend yourself in court
        • Be eligible for legal aid
    • Make a defence, and present it: pray for Sheriff Reid. Or ask the court office to assign him to your case.
  • The lawyers for Business Stream will make life as expensive for you as possible.

What else do they do when you are being chased ? Hassle you with minions who cannot answer a simple question. This is in our view Unaccountable Behaviour.