Water retailers need to do better on complaints, says CCWater
Water retailers must do more to turn the tide of non-household complaints received by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater), says the water watchdog.
As the water market approaches its second anniversary, new figures released by CCWater 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, 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. This is seen as 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.
- Affinity Water to be sold for £1.6BN Affinity Water's owners have announced the sale of the water-only company for an expected value of £1.6 billion, following... Read More >
- Severn Trent and UU complete formation of joint venture United Utilities (UU) and Severn Trent have confirmed that the transaction to found their joint venture - Water Plus – has... Read More >
- Hydro International acquires Hydro-Logic Water solutions company Hydro International has entered into conditional agreements to acquire instrumentation and... Read More >
- Moving towards maintenance 4.0 Water utilities need to embrace smart asset management technologies but that is only part of the solution, writes Chris... Read More >
- A data-led approach to clearing FOG Water utilities have a major challenge working with local food businesses to prevent fats, oils and grease entering the... Read More >
- The robots aren't coming... they're already here Stantec lead design engineer Dan Causley looks at advances in technology and their role in boosting productivity in the... Read More >
- Opinion: A smarter way to read the water network Smart metering technology could be the key to closing water companies' knowledge gaps about usage in their network -... Read More >
- Smart thinking: The digital asset management revolution With many of the pieces now in place for a digital asset management revolution, AI and machine learning solutions are set... Read More >