This article relates to the unreasonable behaviour of Scottish Water [SW], its subsidiary Scottish Water Business Stream [SWBS], and debt collection agencies and the like appointed by SWBS.
Whether the charges raised are actually raised in accordance with the provisions of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 is covered in the article "Water Charges - The Law Explained" is immaterial - in the case of charges for properties which are NOT eligible properties in terms iof Section 27, there are a number of points to be made - especially when Scotland is in recession or hovering on the brink of it - and these include:
- Refusal by SWBS to specify the specific section of law in accordance with which the charges are made. In fact this refusal is endemic within the Water Industry in Scotland - and includes the Water Industry Commission for Scotland [WICS], and the Scottish Government's Water Industry Division [SGWID].
- Statements by a Debt Collection Agency that: "Our clients have informed us that they are unaware of any legitimate reason for non-payment of their account and that they may consider legal proceedings if necessary."
The use of debt collection agencies by SWBS when SWBS knows that the tenant of a building does not consider themselves liable for charges, and that this is based on good research - as detailed in this set of articles - immediately places the debt collector in breach of his obligations - more specifically clause v in Section 1. Key requirements of the Common Principles of the Credit Services Association (CSA) Code of Practice [April 2014] which states "when an account is reasonably disputed or a complaint is received, suspend collection activity and investigate and where applicable refer the matter to their client".
All that can be reasonably be said is that this constitutes bullying by the state as such practice is not only wide spread but the Scottish Parliament seems both incapable, and it appears unwilling, to hold the administration [WICS and SGWID] to account. Noted ist is these two bodies who ought to be controlling and regulating - viz holding to account SW and SWBS.
It is this this type of behaviour which makes recession in Scotland almost inevitable.
Let it also be noted that it has come to the attention of the author that SWBS have recently incurred costs in excess of £5,000 for the recovery of about £500 in unwarranted charges. The loss to Scotland includes the legal costs also in excess of £5,000 to the tenant wrongly pursued [who has had now to close their business], and the loss to Scotland of the associated jobs, and the net value of exports ....John Seddons's concept of "failure demand" is well illustrated - see more in the article Water Charges - A Clear up Agenda.
The tenant was forced, reluctantly, to make the decision to make this minimal payment, for the reasons outlined in the Warning at the end of the article Water Charges - Practical Help. The tenant can be said to have been institutionally bullied by an organ of the state.