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Hemsby's couple's debt collector shock

PUBLISHED: 15:37 12 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:40 30 June 2010

A FAMILY who were promised a rebate by Anglian Water after having to endure a tide of flooding sewage hit out after receiving a call from debt collectors chasing the full sum.

A FAMILY who were promised a rebate by Anglian Water after having to endure a tide of flooding sewage hit out after receiving a call from debt collectors chasing the full sum.

Kenneth and Jennie Chaney of Waters Lane, Hemsby, were joined by friends and neighbours in December when they battled with the flooding using mops and brooms. It followed similar flooding the previous June.

As as way of saying sorry for the sewerage issues that have blighted the area for years, the water company said it would make amends.

But after being sent a cheque for £49.90 to cover the summer troubles, AW's promise to halve their sewage bill for December was followed shortly followed by a final demand for the full bill of £100.65, then a call from debt collectors.

Mother-of-four Mrs Chaney described the call - which was then followed by a letter of clarification after AW realised its mistake - as a “kick in the teeth”.

She said: “It's not really about the compensation. I would just like an apology, though I doubt we're going to get one. In all of our years we've always kept up to date with our bill payments and never had a call from the debt collectors. I've never been so disgusted in all my life.”

Her husband had got in contact with AW after the final demand arrived.

Mr Chaney was told it would be corrected, but the debt collectors called soon afterwards.

He said: “When I talked to the debt collectors they realised they had made a mistake but asked me to pay the reduced amount over the phone, which is what I did to keep them quiet. I wasn't happy because we didn't have a proper copy of the bill, and it's beyond belief that one hand doesn't know what the other is doing.”

A spokesman for AW said it had apologised to the Chaneys for the error and credited them with a further £20 as a goodwill gesture.

The couple's complaints foll-owed our revelation last week that Hemsby was unlikely to get the funding needed to stop sewage floods after heavy rainfall.

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