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Complaints from business customers on the rise

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has warned that complaints from businesses are on the rise, with some retailers still failing on the basics.

Figures released today by the watchdog reveal it handled 931 complaints from businesses during the first three months of 2019/20.

And while that was marginally fewer than the previous quarter, the consumer body still received 162 more complaints than during the same period last year.

According to CCWater, complaints have been on the rise ever since the English market opened for business in April 2017 and the latest figures from the watchdog suggest a small number of poor performing retailers continue to cause customers the biggest concern.

These include two of last year’s worst performers - Clear Business Water and Everflow - with SES Business Water completing the bottom three based on complaints made to CCWater from April 2019 to the end of June 2019.

The watchdog said their performance was in stark contrast to Yorkshire Water Business, Water2Business and Affinity for Business who topped the rankings with the lowest levels of complaints among the larger retailers.

More than seven out of 10 non-household complaints handled during the quarter related to billing and charges, with the bulk of these customers disputing the accuracy of the bills. Many other businesses found themselves at loggerheads with retailers over the payment of leakage allowances or inaccuracies on their account.

“Some retailers are still not getting the basics right by providing clear and reliable bills, which is the very least any customer should expect,” said the CCWater’s head of policy and research, Dr Mike Keil.

“Shining a light on the three best and worst performing retailers for complaints each quarter is just one of the ways we hope to improve service across the market and empower customers to make a well-informed choice if they opt to switch.”

CCWater compares performance based on complaints per 10,000 supply points to take into account the large variations in the number of customers each retailer serves.

Author: Jamie Hailstone,
Topic: Customer experience , Policy & Regulation
Tags: water retail , Consumer Council for Water

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