Water company complaints 'rise in the south'But complaint levels have fallen overall

26 September 2012

Water tap

Are you happy with your water company? Complaints to water companies have fallen to their lowest levels since 2005 but South East Water and Thames Water have seen significant increases. 

Customer complaints in England and Wales fell by more than 10% this year compared with the previous year, according to a report from the Consumer Council for Water.

But complaints in some parts of the south east have increased significantly, with South East Water and Thames Water seeing the highest rises.

If you’re not impressed with your water company read our guide on how to make a complaint. And if you have a water meter and want to cut your bills, check out our top tips on how to use less water.

Water company complaints fall

The number of written complaints to water companies across England and Wales fell by almost 12% in the period from March 2011 - March 2012, compared with the same period in 2010-2011.

Dwr Cymru Water received 6,400 (58%) fewer complaints, while complaints to Wessex Water and United Utilities dropped by 40% and 32% respectively.

But the Consumer Council for Water says there is still room for improvement, with seven of the 23 water companies reporting an increase in customer complaints.

South east complaints on the rise  

While the overall number of water company grievances fell, complaints to South East Water increased by 59%. The company received almost 5,000 more than the previous year. This marks South East Water as the most-complained-about water provider, based on the number of complaints received for its size.

Complaints to Thames Water rose by 13%, while Southern Water saw an increase of 4%.

Water companies must improve

The Consumer Council for Water’s chief executive Tony Smith said: 'Customer complaints have been decreasing since [we] started putting pressure on water companies. 

'However there are still some that need to take action to address their high complaint levels. Companies must not rest on their laurels and assume they can get away with delivering a poor service.'

More on this...

  • Check out our guide on how to make a complaint.
  • Read our expert advice and top tips on how to use less water
  • On a water meter? Find out how to slash your bills with water-saving products