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Fiji Time: 4:25 PM on Wednesday 16 April

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Estimated billing withdrawn

Felix Chaudhary
Saturday, January 19, 2013

THE Water Authority of Fiji says it has removed the minimum 100 units billed for estimated readings as of Thursday last week.

The country's sole water provider also said all customers who were billed for 100 units under the estimated readings process would be credited for any excess units charged.

"As far as the 100 units estimation is concerned, WAF has already withdrawn the 100 units charges and this came into effect on January 10, 2013," the authority said in a statement.

"Therefore, for all customers who have already paid the 100 units charges, the authority will pass credit accordingly.

"For this reason, we are advising our customers to visit our nearest Customer Service Department if they know they've been charged the 100 units."

The WAF statement has come in response to concerns raised by the Consumer Council of Fiji.

Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar said her office had been inundated with complaints from consumers about what she termed "unfair" billing practices under which customers were billed a minimum of 100 units despite using less than the charged amount of water.

"Water is a fundamental to life as air," Mrs Kumar said.

"It is a basic necessity. The provision of such a basic necessity should be done under a system that is accessible, affordable and just.

"The WAF should not be left to treat water as profitable commodity, but must ensure that consumers are paying a fair price and not a price based on subjective estimations," she said.