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Water market hampered by falling satisfaction and low awareness

Falling satisfaction levels and increasing billing complaints must not be allowed to dampen business customers’ enthusiasm to shop around for a better water deal, a new CCWater report has warned.

Research by the Consumer Council for Water has revealed that satisfaction with water services and trust in water companies has fallen among non-household customers in England, since they were given the chance to switch supplier two years ago.

But in Wales, where most customers still cannot switch, business customers remain more satisfied than their English counterparts – a gap which has widened since 2016.

More encouragingly in England, almost nine out of ten switchers expressed satisfaction with the process, according to the Testing the Waters report. But too many small businesses are in danger of missing out, with only two in five aware they can change retailer.

Competition has also been undermined by a sharp rise in complaints from businesses that have encountered problems, particularly with billing and charges. Non-household complaints handled by CCWater more than tripled during the first year of the market and have shown little sign of receding in the past 12 months. The increase has been driven by some poor performing larger retailers.


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