Consumer Council for Water
Retailers still failing to turn tide of business complaints
Retailers must do more to turn the tide of non-household complaints received by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), as the water market approaches its second anniversary.
New figures released by the Water Watchdog reveal it received 1,037 complaints from businesses during the third quarter of the year – almost 200 more than during the same period last year.
There was only a marginal improvement on the second quarter of 2018/19, which had represented the worst three-month period for complaints to CCWater since the market opened for business in April 2017.
Grievances about billing and charges accounted for seven out of ten complaints received by CCWater between October and December 2018, with poor market data often the root cause of problems.
Evan Joanette, Policy Manager at CCWater, yesterday said:
“The market was supposed to simplify billing for businesses, not create an unnecessary headache for them.”
“Some retailers have demonstrated it is possible to drive down complaints and deliver a better level of service. As we approach the second anniversary of competition we need to see an improving picture across the whole market.”
Customers should be able to make an informed choice when they consider switching retailers, which is why CCWater has called for more performance data to be made available. This can also help to increase the pressure on retailers and wholesalers that are letting customers down.
There has been some progress in this area with market operator MOSL recently publishing information showing when companies had last read customers’ meters. It’s an important step in challenging market traders to provide more frequent meter readings, reducing the risk of inaccurate or disputed bills.
In the summer, CCWater will also be publishing its second annual report giving non-household customers the chance to compare the complaints performance of retailers.
For more information call the media team on 0121 345 1005
Latest News from
Consumer Council for Water
Future prices and services must be acceptable to water customers12/04/2019 12:20:00
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has responded to the announcement by the regulator Ofwat over its draft price and service plans for three water companies.
Water Watchdog meeting examines efforts to reduce water debt21/03/2019 09:20:00
Efforts to turn the tide of unpaid water bills among tenants in Wales will top the agenda when the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) meets in Wrexham next Friday (29 March).
Switching to a meter could pull the plug on rising water bills20/03/2019 09:20:00
Switching to a water meter could help thousands of households pull the plug on rising water bills and prevent next month’s increase from making an April fool of their finances.
Have your say about the water retail market18/03/2019 08:05:00
Discussions around the steps retailers must take to stem the tide of non-household complaints will be at the top of the agenda, when we hold our next business customer meeting in Birmingham on Thursday (28 March).
Water companies set out plans to withstand risks to supplies14/03/2019 09:20:00
Efforts to safeguard water supplies from the risk of more frequent droughts and other challenges will be discussed when water companies meet in London on Tuesday (19 March).
Small businesses being left behind by water market13/03/2019 09:20:00
Small businesses have not been empowered to make the most of their freedom to switch water retailer, during the first two years of competition in England.
Consumers ready to put water companies under the spotlight27/02/2019 14:20:00
Water companies will be challenged over the cost of their services and efforts to keep taps running across the region, when they’re quizzed by consumers in Coventry.
More help needed for low-income households ahead of water bill rise07/02/2019 09:20:00
More water companies should pour some of their own profits into schemes designed to help cash-strapped households with their water bills, according to the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).