In 2018/2019, over two million calls were made to water suppliers around England and Wales, according to a new report revealing that four companies have now been warned to halt a sharp rise in complaints among their customers.
The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater’s) annual complaints report demanded urgent improvements from Thames Water, Essex and Suffolk Water, Northumbrian Water and Hafren Dyfrdwy.
They have now been asked to provide the industry regulator with quarter reports showing what action has already been taken and what else they have in mind to help drive down complaints.
The report did reveal, however, that there were nearly 60,999 fewer calls made than last year, which outweighed the 5,400 increase seen in the number of people that sent in written complaints. But households did have to go to the regulator for help with disputes after reaching a dead end with their supplier.
Over the year, a 28 per cent rise was seen in complaints relating to water supply and pressure, with some companies struggling to handle the challenges associated with a very cold spring and hot summer.
Chief executive of CCWater Tony Smith said: “Far too many customers are having to waste their time and suffer the frustration of disputing unclear or inaccurate bills.”
“In the autumn we’ll be bringing the whole industry together to try and improve the standards of billing, as well as demanding a significant fall in the complaints made to the four poor performers named in our report.”
No other supplier received more complaints than Thames Water, with water supply one of the main reasons why the company saw a 24 per cent hike in written complaints, with ten per cent more people having to get on the phone to resolve problems with the service.
Bournemouth Water, meanwhile, was named one of the industry’s best performers after facing criticism in 2015/2016 for a sharp hike in written complaints.
If you’ve been having issues with your current company, you might be inspired to switch water supplier and see if you can enjoy a better deal elsewhere.
The English water retail market was opened up back in April 2017, meaning that businesses of all shapes and sizes across a range of industries are now able to choose their own water supplier.
There are numerous benefits to doing this, whether it’s because you want to find a company that suits your industry needs more effectively or if you simply want a more accurate billing service.
It can be difficult trying to switch for the first time, however, since the market is relatively new and it can be hard to decide which supplier would work best for you. Get in touch with the team here at H2o Building Services to see how we can help.