The Consumer Council for Water revealed today (Tuesday 20 September) that last year (2010-11) customer complaints to D?r Cymru Welsh Water Wales decreased by 17.1 per cent, halting the increases of each of the past five years. At the same time, Dee Valley Waters complaints rose for the sixth year in a row, by 24.6 per cent. On average, across England and Wales, complaints to the water industry decreased by 4.5 per cent.
Diane McCrea, Chair of the Wales committee of the Consumer Council for Water, said: Complaints about water and sewerage services in Wales had risen steadily for each of the previous five years. We are pleased that having worked closely with the company, D?r Cymru Welsh Water has reversed this trend in 2010-11 and has improved its complaints numbers, per customer served. However, it remains that the both companies in Wales1 whose customers we represent, were amongst the worst performing water companies across England and Wales for 2010-11 when comparing complaint numbers across the industry.
We have constantly pressed both D?r Cymru Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water to improve their complaints handling performance, and encouraged them to take 1 In mid Wales customers are served by Severn Trent Water, which is covered by our Central and Eastern office and committee in Birmingham. The Consumer Council for Water Wales Room 140, Caradog House, 1-6 St Andrews Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BE Press Office: 0121 345 1005 or 1006 urgent action to reverse this trend.
We are optimistic that D?r Cymru Welsh Water has now turned the tide and that customers will see a marked improvement for 2011-12. However we are still pressing Dee Valley Water to understand better the reasons for this increase, and challenging the company to implement a strategy to improve this unsatisfactory situation. We will continue to forcefully represent customers, putting their priorities first, and on their behalf challenge both monopoly companies in Wales to deliver better service for their customers.
There is still some way to go before customers in Wales get the service they deserve and that compares favourably with the service that customers in England get from their water companies. Last year the Consumer Council for Water Wales office helped customers secure over £500,000 in compensation and rebates from water companies in Wales. Ends