Irish Water sent letter to man who died six years ago

Wexford woman tells of distress receiving letter addressed to her deceased husband

Jessica Montague from Wexford told of receiving a letter from Irish Water addressed to her deceased husband which read “Alan Montague RIP”

Jessica Montague from Wexford told of receiving a letter from Irish Water addressed to her deceased husband which read “Alan Montague RIP”

 

A woman has spoken of her “shock and distress” at receiving a letter from Irish Water, addressed to her husband who has been dead for six years.

Jessica Montague from Wexford told The Irish Times she received a letter from Irish Water addressed to her deceased husband, which read “Tom Montague RIP.”

Ms Montague posted a photo of the letter on Facebook on Friday morning with the caption: “This morning’s post. Two letters from IW addressed to my deceased husband. Nearly 6 years dead and you dare to put that on a letter. No, I will not be contacting you to clarify your error.”

She said her husband died in June 2009 but Irish Water sent a bill addressed to his name and another letter asking to clarify the household details.

Ms Montague said she was “shocked” that Irish Water knowingly addressed the letters to a dead person.

“I can appreciate someone making a clerical or database error, but someone had to input the data and put in the words RIP after my husband’s name. I don’t know why they would deliberately do that,” she said.

Ms Montague said she initially posted the photo to her Facebook friends but decided to share it publicly.

She said several people have been in touch to say she is not the only person to have been sent a letter from Irish Water to a deceased spouse or relative.

“I’m so perturbed as to why they sent it. It doesn’t make sense for a new utility to send a bill to someone who died several years ago,” she said.

The first batch of Irish Water bills were delivered to homes across the country on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Irish Water said: “Irish water will be sending bills to 1.5 million customers over the coming eight weeks.

“It’s a significant task and we expect to face challenges where we have incomplete customer information, where customers have not yet registered or where customer information needs to be updated.

“We totally understand and apologise for upset caused by incorrect customer information, and our contact centre staff are ready to accept customer registrations or to correct any data inaccuracies quickly so that information is correct for future billing cycles.”