Awareness of Consumer Council for Water & of Organisations Which Help Customers with Utility Complaints

The aim of this research was to provide updated awareness levels for CCWater amongst household customers in England and Wales. For the first time, we identified who customers would go to for help with complaints about water, telecom/broadband and energy utilities.

Awareness of CCWater has previously featured in our Water Matters survey, but this survey was carried out using an omnibus approach so we could expand the number of questions we asked. This was a telephone omnibus survey of 1,655 total respondents, 1,347 bill payers carried out in March 2017.

Key findings include:

  • Awareness of independent organisations which are there to help with utility complaints is generally low.
  • For water complaints, 51% were only able to name their water company as being where they would go for help with a complaint; for telecoms/broadband 57% only mentioned their service provider, and for energy this figure was 55%. These respondents are potentially vulnerable as they are unaware of other independent sources of expert advice which could potentially unlock a situation for them.
  • Awareness of the regulator for telecoms / broadband provider is highest of all utility types with 16% stating they would approach Ofcom if they had a complaint about their telecoms / broadband provider. Almost 1 in 10 state they would approach Ofgem (9%) if they had a complaint about their energy company, and Ofwat (8%) if they had a complaint about their water company.
  • Almost 9 in 10 (85%) of respondents feel it is important to have a consumer body representing their interests relating to the water and sewerage services they receive. This feeling is significantly higher among those living in Wales (89%) compared to those living in England (84%).
  • Over three quarters (78%) of those living in England and Wales say they know where to find CCWater’s contact details. Over two thirds (67%) said they would search for CCWater’s contact details via an online search engine.
  • Almost two thirds (64%) of respondents feel ‘very’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the value for money they receive from the 21p annual charge on their water bill for CCWater’s service. Respondents living in Wales (44%) are significantly more satisfied than those living in England with the value for money they receive (37%).