Four water companies continue to reverse rise in complaints

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has welcomed the latest reduction in written complaints made by customers to four water companies that were challenged by the consumer watchdog to improve their performance.

Figures reported to CCWater by Southern Water (-53%), Bournemouth Water (-35%), Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water (-18%) and Affinity Water (-13%) show the number of written complaints they received fell between October and December 2016, compared to the same period in 2015.

The companies have been under increased pressure to improve their performance since CCWater demanded action be taken to curb an alarming spike in written complaints made against them during 2015/161.

All four are now on track to reduce complaints in 2016/17 having introduced a range of measures to improve customer service or address problems arising from billing systems.

Tony Smith, CCWater’s Chief Executive, said: “The four companies have all responded positively to our challenge and taken action which appears to be making a marked difference.”

“We remain concerned that some of the companies still have considerable ground to make up on the rest of the industry, so we want to see this downward trend in complaints continue for the foreseeable future.”

All four companies have been asked to provide CCWater with another update at the end of April on their complaint-handling to ensure their performance is continuing to improve.

CCWater’s annual complaints report will be published in September.

For more information call the media team on 0121 345 1005.

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.

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