Customer service scores across the water sector have edged up on the previous year with Portsmouth Water topping the table of Ofwat's water companies’ annual service incentive mechanism (SIM) tallies with the highest figure recorded (see table).
The average SIM score across the sector rose just over 1% to 82.5 out of 100 as Portsmouth jumped from from 8th last year to first place with the highest achieved since the SIM began in 2010 at 90. Southern Water piled on the ignominy coming last following its similar recent placing on customer service performance
Wessex Water maintained its place as the highest performing water and sewerage company with a score of 87 which repeated last year's second place.
Senior director at Ofwat, David Black, said the increasing average score showed that "our customer service scores continue to be a powerful incentive for driving improvements in how companies deal with their customers and building customers’ trust and confidence in the sector."
While the performance for customers at Southern cannot be seen as remotely acceptable, some of the root of customer ire towards the firm could lie in one of its more laudable actions. Southern's aggressive pursuit of universal metering on its patch has made it more visible to consumers and placed it in their cross hairs as it has had to navigate all the hazards that go with intrusive work on or near to people's homes. Possibly a cautionary tale for those companies yet to advance towards metering every household.