Getting the measure of billing and debt complaints

CCW – the voice for water consumers – has published a new report which aims to help water companies get to grips with the root causes of billing and debt complaints.

Getting the measure of billing and debt complaints sets out some of the simple steps that the industry can take to reduce disputes over bills and debt recovery, which make up about half of the complaints made to water companies. It also highlights examples of good and bad practice, including case studies we have helped to resolve.

Time to take action

Building a stronger relationship with customers, taking more frequent meter readings and gaining a better understanding of each bill-payer’s individual circumstances are just some of the recommendations highlighted in the report.

We hope the findings will inspire companies to develop ideas and agree to take action ahead of an industry-wide billing complaints workshop being hosted by us in March.

Addressing customers’ concerns over inaccurate bills and recovering debt may hold the key to changing customers’ perceptions over fairness and value for money. Only six out of ten households currently think they get a fair deal from their water company.

Carl Pegg, Head of Consumer Relations for CCW, said:

“The industry has taken significant strides in reducing complaints over the past decade but disputes over bills and debt continue to cause many customers anxiety and frustration.”

“Getting the basics right with bills is essential but companies also need to invest more time and resources in getting to know and understand their customers and the individual challenges they face.”

For more information on the report please contact Policy.Research@ccwater.org.uk