A new report by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) reveals households made more than 2.1 million calls to resolve problems last year, a 0.5% reduction on the previous year. Given the extreme weather experienced through the ‘Beast from the East’, this shows some progress overall.
The annual complaints report by the Water Watchdog shows that written complaints from customers for the industry fell by 17%. Part of this improvement could reflect moves to other communication channels such as social media. CCWater is currently working with industry to expand the channels monitored which will be reported from next year.
Despite a positive overall picture, CCWater continues to push the industry forward as companies effectively compete within a comparative framework. Bristol Water, Surrey-based SES Water and have been asked to provide the watchdog with quarterly reports highlighting what action they are taking to reduce complaints.
Southern Water will be asked to provide quarterly reports to the watchdog for a third successive year after failing to improve on its position as the industry’s worst performer for both measures. That was despite the company’s positive progress reducing written complaints by a fifth.
Bristol Water reported a 37 per cent increase in unwanted contacts and a 52 per cent increase in written complaints. CCWater is also concerned about the poor performance of SES Water, which reported a 21 per cent rise in unwanted contacts. Both water only companies have been asked to report back to the watchdog by the end of October on what steps they have taken to improve their service and curb complaints.
There was better news for customers of Anglian Water which is now the industry’s best performer for unwanted contacts. The company also reported a 26 per cent fall in written complaints. CCWater believes Bournemouth Water also deserves praise for delivering one of the biggest reductions in written complaints (40 per cent). It completes an impressive turnaround for the south-coast company, having responded positively to CCWater’s challenge to reverse a large rise in complaints two years ago.
You can read the full CCWater report here