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Dublin: 4 °C Saturday 14 December, 2019
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Irish Water explain why they want to know the colour of your hall door

They say they want to know, but that there’s a good reason.

Image: Shutterstock/David Papazian

IRISH WATER HAS said that they will occasionally ask for the colour of a person’s hall door – but not necessarily for billing.

The beleaguered utility was today the subject of an Irish Examiner story which suggested that they are to ask householders for more comprehensive details on their properties, asking questions about the colour of the door, the side of the road the house is on and the colour of their gate.

The Examiner story said that a rural customer had asked the company how they were sure the correct meter had been connected to their home. The customer says that in a response, the company asked for the colour of their home and door?

Today, an Irish Water spokesperson told TheJournal.ie that they will occasionally ask for extra details because Ireland has 40% non-unique addresses and the extra details can be used for customer service reasons.

The spokesperson said that the details will allow Irish Water staff find properties.

“Our customer database is used for customer service as well as billing purposes. The request for this kind of information helps Irish Water to identify properties for both. In the absence of postcodes in Ireland no database exists of exact locations of the name and address for every property in the country.

“Obviously we want the correct metered bill to be sent to the correct customer. But equally, if a burst occurs or there is another service issue at a customers home we also need to know the exact location of that home to help us identify and solve the cause of the problem.

“Local knowledge, specific descriptions of a house or entrance, and clear directions to a customers property help us to find that home without delay if a problem occurs.”

Fianna Fáil’s environment spokesperson Barry Cowen said that the story “epitomises the laughable saga that is Irish Water”.

“It seems bizarre, outlandish and laughable, but it’s too serious to laugh about. We were told that the contract was awarded because of the expertise that existed in the billing system in Bord Gáis.”

Read: Irish Water has been placed (temporarily) on the government’s balance sheet

Read: Joan Burton thinks RTÉ got a bit too excited about the water protests (but RTÉ doesn’t agree)

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