We are working with retailers, Ofwat, MOSL (the market operator) to identify and resolve issues that are hampering customer experiences.
We have been closely involved in working groups where retailers have shown a willingness to share good practice and help resolve problems.
Third Quarter – 1 October 2018 to 31 December 18
We received 1,037 complaints from businesses during the third quarter of the year – almost 200 more than during the same period last year.
There was only a marginal improvement on the second quarter of 2018/19, which had represented the worst three-month period for complaints to us since the market opened for business in April 2017.
Second Quarter – 1 April 18 to 30 June 18
We received 1,110 complaints from non-household customers between 1 July and 30 September this year, making it the worst quarter since the market opened in April 2017.
The increase has undermined the improvement witnessed by the consumer body during the first three months of 2018/19 when complaints fell for the first time since the launch of non-household retail competition in England.
First Quarter – 1 April 18 to 30 June 18
New figures show that we received 766 complaints during the first quarter of 2018/19 – a 21 per cent reduction on the 968 received during the final three months of 2017/18.
It’s the first time we have seen non-household complaints fall during a full quarter since the market launched on 1 April 2017.
However, complaints are still double what they were during the first three months of the market and we have warned some retailers have much more to do.
April 2017- March 18
Full year – 1 April 17 to 31 March 18
Water Watchdog pushing for improvement during second year of market
The overall total number of complaints to us from non-household customers for the year was 2,782, compared to 824 in the 12 months leading up to the market opening. This increase was driven by a small number of retailers. Most retailers actually delivered a good service and avoided many of the problems encountered by their poor performing competitors. Most of the complaints we received related to service issues that retailers have the power to put right. We are pushing for poor performers to get their act together and improve over the next 12 months.
The best and worst performing retailers for complaints will be revealed in our report set to be published in late June 2018.
Fourth Quarter – 1 January to 31 March 2018
We received 972 complaints from non-household customers during the final three months of 2017/18. The trend of rising complaints to us slowed slightly during the final quarter of the year as we continued to work with retailers and wholesalers to address a number of problems for customers. This included putting forward recommendations to improve policies on leakage allowances and temporary disconnection to ensure customers were treated fairly.
Third Quarter – 1 October 17 to 31 December 17
We received 815 complaints from business customers between October and December 2017. We are focusing our efforts on improving the performance of a small number of retailers that are responsible for a disproportionate share of the increase in complaints.
Second Quarter – 1 July 17 to 30 September 17
We received 559 complaints from non-household customers during the second quarter of the year, an increase on quarter one.
As a result, we put pressure on all retailers to reverse that trend. This led to some retailers making it easier for customers to get in touch with them and rolling out additional training for customer service staff.
Nine out of ten contacts we received from non-household customers were from small and medium businesses.
Billing and charges made up the majority of complaints during this quarter due to more customers receiving their first bill from their new retailer.
First Quarter – 1 April 17 to 30 June 17
Within the first quarter after market opening, overall complaints to us from non-household customers increased at a rate that was expected due to teething problems.
The introduction of competition created new complaints about day-to-day activities now taking longer to resolve, with some retailers trying to get to grips with their relationships with wholesalers.
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We also publish information on how water companies are performing, see our water company performance page to find our more.