How CCW can help if your company doesn’t resolve your complaint

 You can contact CCW by telephone, in writing or online. CCW has developed an easy to use secure webform, which can be found on our website, https://www.ccwater.org.uk/make-a-complaint/. We encourage you to use this method to contact us where possible. Alternatively, you can send us a letter or an email.

If you would like CCW to become involved in your complaint, we can help you quicker if you could let us know:

  • account information, including your name, address, what company you’re unhappy with, your account number and any complaint reference number the company may have given you;
  • how you’d like us to contact you (email, telephone, letter);
  • what the problem is, what the company has offered and why you remain unhappy;
  • what outcome would resolve the matter for you; and
  • any supporting evidence you have.

We will confirm that we’ve received your complaint within five working days. We’ll assign you a Caseworker within 10 working days. Your CCW Caseworker will review your case history and may need to liaise with your company on your behalf. We will obtain copies of responses and any supporting documentation from your company. We will then let you know what we can do for you. If we are able to challenge the company on your behalf, we will. If we are unable to improve the outcome of your complaint, or feel there are no grounds to challenge the company’s decision, we’ll explain why.

When we challenge your company on your behalf, we will manage contact between you and the company while your case is being reviewed, so you will not need to take any further action. We will keep you informed of what actions we are taking on your behalf and what you can expect. We might ask for consideration to be given to certain points of your complaint, for additional documentation to be provided, or we might highlight areas where we believe your company has not addressed your concerns previously. Your company has 10 working days in which to reply.

Once the response is received, we will review this and share our conclusion with you. Understandably, there may be times where further discussion is required and we welcome your interaction with us while we are looking into your complaint.

We work by using our industry knowledge, experience and expertise to make recommendations to your company to achieve a satisfactory resolution. CCW is unable to decide on legal matters, such as negligence, liability or claims outcomes. Whilst companies adhere to our recommendations in the majority of cases (99% in 2019/20), our decisions are not binding.

Regrettably, there may be occasions where we are unable to achieve your desired resolution. If we feel there is no merit in pursuing the case further for you, or a fair outcome has been offered, but you disagree, in the majority of cases we can make an application to a WATRS (Water Redress Scheme) adjudicator for you. Your case handler will give you more information about WATRS adjudication when we close your file. If your retailer does not use WATRS’ adjudicators, we will let you know what Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) services are available to you.

Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR)

All water companies and most retailers are signed up to WATRS, the Water Redress Scheme. This means that the companies have agreed to be bound by the WATRS adjudicator’s decision. Once CCW has closed your case, if you want a WATRS adjudicator to review the matter and make a decision, your CCW caseworker will be able to make the application for you. We will share your case file details with the adjudicator so that you don’t have to repeat it all (although you can ask us not to if you would prefer). If your retailer does not use WATRS’ adjudicators, your CCW case handler will let you know what scheme you can use and how to access it.

The WATRS adjudicator will ask the company to respond to the points in your application. You will have a chance to comment on the company’s response. The adjudicator will then read all of the information to reach a decision. The adjudicator is impartial; they are not on the side of the company or on your side. The adjudicator will write to you with their decision, explaining what, if anything, they have awarded to you and setting out the reasons for this.

Should you choose to accept the adjudicator’s decision, this will be binding on your company.

Formal Review

If you are unhappy with the handling of your complaint by CCW, you can request a Formal Review.

You can ask for a Formal Review of CCW’s handling by letting your CCW Caseworker know, or if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, by asking their manager.

CCW will then organise for two members of our Board to review of your case. We will let you know who they will be. The review will not consider the particulars of your complaint with your company unless the way we have handled your complaint has had a detriment to the outcome.

Once the review has taken place, a written response will be provided outlining the findings of the review.