Household customer complaints to water companies in England and Wales 2019-20

We have published our 2019-20 report on the complaints made by household customers about water companies in England and Wales.

We have compared the performance of water companies across a series of measures including written complaints made by customers directly to companies, escalated complaints and those received by CCW, as well as the number of investigations carried out by CCW into the most serious complaint handling failures.

The report shows:

  • Two-thirds of water companies in England and Wales saw a reduction in written complaints but billing disputes remained a major headache for households.
  • Fewer customers had to take their complaint to CCW to try and find a resolution – down 7%.
  • Thames Water and Southern Water were the only two water companies to perform poorly across all complaint handling measures in 2019-20.
  • Bournemouth Water, Bristol Water, United Utilities and Wessex Water lead the way as the industry’s best performers.
  • CCW offers support to poor performers and calls for urgent action to get to grips with billing complaints.

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive, says:

Emma Clancy, Chief Executive
Emma Clancy, Chief Executive

“Consumers’ expectations of their water company are very simple – they want accurate, affordable bills and a service they can always rely on but some suppliers are still not getting the basics right.”

“It’s encouraging most of the industry is heading in the right direction but we want to see a big reduction in the large number of disputes over bills which still cause many customers enormous frustration, as well as resolving more complaints at the first time of asking.”

If you have any questions about this report, please email