Wales’ biggest water company Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water has more work to do to reduce the number of written complaints from its customers, says the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
Building on its September Complaints report, the consumer body has today (Tuesday) published figures which show written complaints to the water company fell month-on-month between April and September 2016 – but complaints still remain 39 per cent higher when compared to the same period last year.1
Satisfaction with services and value for money among consumers in Wales remains higher than in England, but CCWater challenged Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water to improve its performance on written complaints after it reported a 115 per cent rise during 2015/16.
Welsh Water responded by introducing a range of measures, including creating a dedicated team to tackle potential issues at an early stage before they escalate to a complaint.
But progress has not been as fast as CCWater would have liked so the water watchdog has urged the company to re-double its efforts or risk remaining one of the worst performing water companies in England and Wales for written complaints.
Tom Taylor, CCWater Wales Chair, said: “While we recognise the company has taken steps to try and address the underlying causes, written complaints over the past six months remain higher than we would expect.”
“Welsh Water has told us it expects to see complaints fall over the coming months but the company has a lot of ground to make up if it is to improve at all on last year’s disappointing performance.”
CCWater wrote to four water companies in England and Wales in September asking them to spell out what action they were taking to improve their complaint-handling performance. All four companies have been asked to provide CCWater with a further update in January on the progress they have made.
You can read the full Delving into Water report (pdf) – which also covers leakage, supply interruptions, sewer flooding, payment and assistance schemes and drinking water quality.
1 CCWater focuses primarily on written complaints made by customers as these provide the most comparable and consistent way of assessing the performance of each water company. Information on unwanted telephone contacts is also included in CCWater’s annual complaints report (pdf). But these do not exclusively include complaints and can cover a wide range of telephone calls where customers have reported a service issue or had to chase their water company for action to be taken.