Investigating the low take up of the Water Industry Redress Scheme

The water industry introduced an alternative dispute resolution service called WATRS (the Water redress Scheme) in April 2015.

If customers are unhappy with the outcome of their case following the company’s formal complaints procedure and CCWater’s mediation, they can approach WATRS for an independent and binding decision on the matter. Take up of the scheme has been lower than expected, and this research is aimed to understand why that is.

The key findings include:

  • Despite CCWater signposting eligible customers to the scheme, only three in ten were aware of the scheme;
  • Communication about WATRS could be made stronger by making it bigger, making it stand out more or having a separate email or letter about it; and
  • The most cited reason for not approaching WATRS was that the customer had given up or saw no point in continuing.

We intend to address these findings by strengthening our signposting to WATRS and making a link to WATRS case studies more visible on our website. This enables customers to see positive outcomes of what WATRS has achieved. We will also include a leaflet about WATRS in our closure letters, which will be provided to CCWater by the panel that has oversight of the WATRS scheme.