A Tide of Opinion: The Customer Voice Within the Price-setting Process

The aims of the research were to find out what engagement and processes at price reviews would give customers most confidence that their voice is being listened to, and understand customers’ views on what makes a credible Customer Challenge Group (CCG) that they can trust to represent their views during the price-setting process.

We hope the insights it provides will help water companies build on the successes of the 2014 Price Review and create CCGs that have legitimacy in the eyes of customers.

The key findings include:

  • Customers want to have a ‘direct say’ on their water company’s proposals.
  • Customers want the Consumer Council for Water to play an ‘active role’ on CCGs as the ‘customer expert’.
  • Customers expect the Chairs of CCGs to be impartial and independent – qualities which they believe could be undermined if the role is funded directly by a water company.
  • Customers liked the idea of a levy or ‘pooled funding’ from across the industry to fund CCG Chairs to mitigate the risk of paid Chairs being “in the pocket” of a water company.
  • CCG membership should be refreshed on a regular basis so the groups hear new voices and avoid becoming stagnated.
  • Customers expect CCGs to act transparently, including publishing the minutes of meetings.

Download the research findings below: