Mr Rene Sarrouh of Dubai says:

I live in a two-bedroom flat in Bur Dubai. My average Dewa bill has been Dh600 for the past few years - housing fee Dh300; electricity Dh125; water Dh150 average consumption of 5000 gallons; sewage Dh25.

In December 2009, the water bill alone was Dh1736.96 for consumption of 45624 gallons. On calling the customer care, I was told to check if there is any leak. My building maintenance conducted a thorough check inside the flat and in the pipes between the meter and the flat and found no leak whatsoever. Surprisingly the water meter number was different from that on the bill. Dewa confirmed it is a normal procedure to change the meter in case of high consumption alert. They requested a photo of the meter and sent an inspector to check for any cross connection. Dewa's lab confirmed that my old meter was not faulty.

In January 2010, the consumption was 32831 gallons at a cost of Dh1207.24. From February onwards the consumption returned to the normal average and so did the bill. I had not changed my consumption habit, did not have any leaks, did not go on any holidays and left any taps on. I do not have any swimming pool or jacuzzi in my apartment.

I made several visits to the Dewa head office, logged several complaints and made many follow up calls to customer care and all that resulted in nothing but waste of my time and missing working hours.

Since December I have been paying my bills excluding the overcharge of December and January. I have even paid the average consumption for those two months including the increased cost of sewage, which is relative to the water consumption.

There is an outstanding balance of Dh2650 which Dewa has overcharged me without any explanation.

Please note that I am aware of some sort of system migration which took place at Dewa a few months ago and apparently resulted in a billing chaos. Dewa does not admit to that.

I hope you can look into this matter and I look forward to your update.

Editor's note:

The complaint was forwarded to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) for comments. However, despite repeated reminders, its management failed to respond.