Huge rise in complaints about water firmsConsumer Council for Water reveals 30% hike

31 October 2007

 

Water running from tap

Almost 241,000 written complaints were made by customers to water and sewerage companies in 2006-07, an increase of nearly 30% compared with the previous year, the Consumer Council for Water announced today.

More than 109,000 - nearly half - the complaints were about billing and charges and three companies accounted for 78% of these complaints: Thames Water, United Utilities and Severn Trent Water.

Complaints about water services (such as supply, quality and pipes) accounted for more than 15%.

Water company profits

Customers of Portsmouth Water, Yorkshire Water, Dee Valley Water, Folkestone and Dover Water and Tendring Hundred Water will be pleased to know that their suppliers consistently received the lowest numbers of complaints per 10,000 customers.

Yve Buckland, National Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: 'Water customers are becoming increasingly demanding of their companies. They see water companies making good profits and expect service, if not improving, then at the very least delivered to a good, consistent and reliable standard. They also want complaints dealt with "right first time".

'We will be pushing water companies to improve these figures and provide a much better level of customer service, comparable with the best in other service sectors.'

The full report, Complaint Handling in the Water Industry in England and Wales 2006-07, is on the site of the Consumer Council for Water.