Water Watchdog meets in Birmingham

The Consumer Council for Water Central and Eastern Committee is inviting members of the public to its next meeting on Wednesday 27 October in Birmingham, when it will question local water companies about the quality of their customer service and the number of complaints each has received over the past financial year.

Representatives from Severn Trent Water, Anglian Water, South Staffordshire Water, Cambridge Water, Veolia Water East and Essex & Suffolk Water will be at the meeting.

Dame Yve Buckland, Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Central and Eastern, said: “Nine out of ten customers tell us that they are satisfied with the service provided by their water company, and if something goes wrong we know that customers want the problem to be sorted out quickly.

“Unlike other utilities, water customers do not have the opportunity to switch supplier if they are unhappy with service, but systems are in place to help protect customers and prevent water companies from taking advantage of their monopoly situations. For example, water customers can contact the Consumer Council for Water to raise a complaint about a water company, and we will investigate as necessary. Since we began in October 2005 the Consumer Council for Water has dealt with over 75,000 complaints against water companies and returned over £10 million in direct compensation and rebates for customers.

“At the meeting we will be pushing for improvements where we’ve seen adverse trends in complaints, and questioning water companies on how they plan to make changes to help reduce the number of times their customers need to pick up the phone and make a complaint.”

The meeting will take place between 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm on Wednesday 27 October at Victoria Square House, Victoria Square in Birmingham, B2 4AJ.