Consumer Council for Water
Retailers urged to sustain fall in complaints to watchdog
Complaints about retailers received by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) fell for a second successive quarter to raise hopes of a sustained improvement.
The water watchdog received 835 complaints from business customers between 1 July and the end of September 2019 – the lowest number it has handled in a single quarter since the start of 2018/19.
Non-household complaints remain almost four times higher than before the market opened in April 2017, with CCWater continuing to target improvements from the poorest performers.
Once again these included SES Business Water and Clear Business Water, while Water Plus slipped back into the bottom three for complaints to CCWater having failed to build on the 16 per cent reduction seen in the previous quarter.
Adam Boyns, Policy Manager, said:
“It is too early say that the market has turned a corner but we’re encouraged to see many retailers are heading in the right direction – that needs to be sustained.”
“We’re still seeing far too many disputes over the accuracy of bills which is causing customers unnecessary stress and in some cases financial difficulties, particularly for small businesses.”
The same best performers from quarter one – Water2Business, Yorkshire Water Business and Affinity for Business – retained their places in the top three least complained about retailers.
Disputes over how much businesses are being charged remained the biggest cause for complaint during the three-month period, with some customers raising concerns over the use of estimated readings.
CCWater is continuing to help non-household customers resolve their complaints, while challenging retailers to address the root causes of disputes. The watchdog is also working closely with market operator MOSL and regulator Ofwat to ensure they prioritise the issues impacting on customers.
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