Watchdog secures £930,000 for consumers as complaints rise

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) secured £930,000 in financial redress for consumers as complaints made to it about water companies and retailers rose during the first half of 2018/19.

Almost 5,200 homes and businesses turned to the Water Watchdog for help with a complaint during the first six months of the year, a rise of 14 per cent compared to the same period last year.

In 23 cases we took the decision to launch an investigation with 19 of these involving retailers, which provide a range of services to non-household customers, including billing and meter reading.

Billing and charges accounted for about half of the complaints we handled with many of these involving metered customers that had disputed how much they had been charged.

Financial redress secured by us for consumers ranged from £10 to as much as £53,000 in cases where complaints were upheld. In many other instances our involvement led to other action being taken by a retailer or water company to put things right for an aggrieved consumer.

In the vast majority of cases (99.5%) we were able to reach an outcome that either met the consumer’s expectations or achieved what we felt was appropriate.

Complaints received by CCWater only make up a small proportion of the overall number made against water companies as many are resolved directly between a consumer and their supplier.

You can find out more about how to raise a complaint against your water company or retailer.

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