Household customer complaints report – 2021

Our annual report examines and compares the performance of water companies in England and Wales for household customer complaints.

The report assesses companies’ performance during a year when the industry was faced with the challenge of adapting its ways of working during Covid-19, while consumers’ demand for water in the home increased during periods of lockdown.

Key findings include:

  • Written complaints to water companies rose for a third successive year with billing problems dominating 67 per cent of disputes with customers
  • Thames Water accounted for more than 2 out of 5 complaints to the industry and those received by CCW. Southern Water and Essex and Suffolk Water also named among poor performers
  • Nine water companies were still able to reduce written complaints despite the challenging climate created by Covid-19
  • Wessex Water and Hartlepool Water topped the league for low complaint numbers and good complaint handling
  • CCW has called on companies to ensure customers receive clear and accurate bills and are treated with empathy when struggling with debt
  • CCW and Ofwat are working with the industry to improve complaint handling