Water companies received more than two million telephone complaints about their services in 2016/17. Yet since the water market opened up in England last April, the opportunity to switch to a better contract for your business has never been greater. What are you waiting for?
Customers made more than two million phone complaints to water companies last year in an attempt to settle issues with their service, according to new data released by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
While written complaints were down on the previous year, the water watchdog’s annual report shows that this was counterbalanced by the number of people having to pick up their phone to air grievances, growing by more than 40,000 to 2.14 million in 2016/17.
Notably, billing and charging issues contributed to over half (57%) of water customers’ written complaints to suppliers.
The findings come on the back of CCWater’s recent remarks that the industry is suffering “teething problems” following the deregulation of the water market in April 2017 – a move expected to drive the industry forward through competition and innovation.
However, commenting on the annual report, Tony Smith, Chief Executive of CCWater, said “progress appears to have stalled” in the service customers receive from their water company, after having “generally improved over the past decade.”
“Water companies received more than two million contacts from customers last year to resolve issues which they should get right first time,” he added. “We’ll be challenging all of the industry to deliver an even better service, but particularly the poorest performers."
How we can help water customers
With the increase in competition since deregulation, including 10 new entrants who’ve dipped their toes into the water market recently, a rise in complaints seems somewhat inevitable (though this is something CCWater says it expects to see “swiftly resolved”).
As water companies find their feet in this brave new world, with new retailers needing to establish themselves and existing ones having to adapt to a more crowded marketplace, research shows that consumers are struggling to find clear information about what tariffs and services are on offer.
This means that businesses not happy with their current service or looking for better conditions on their water contract are finding that comparing offers is not currently as easy as it should be.
This is where we can help.
Businesses that have already taken advantage of the open water market by agreeing to improved contractual terms – either through negotiating with their current supplier or by going to a competitor – are now broadly enjoying the benefits of lower bills and better conditions as a result.
We are already successfully tendering large water supplies, just as we do with our satisfied customers in energy procurement. We can help you choose the best water supplier and most suitable contract based on your business’ individual requirements, guiding you through the process from start to finish.
After undertaking a competitive tender and full analysis of supplier offerings, we provide you with a full overview and completely impartial advice.
Our services don’t end there, either. Our bill validation team provide you with the added confidence and reassurance that once you are on your new contract, you’ll only pay for what exactly what you should be.
To find out more about our water procurement and bureau services, contact us today on 02920 739 599 or email us and we’ll get back to you.