Billing issue could drive three out of five customers to switch supplier

Billing issues could drive 45% of household customers to switch supplier with an further 14% declaring zero tolerance of bungled bills according to recent research findings from Echo Managed Services.

The findings included a number warnings and tips for the water sector as it heads toward retail competition. The Echo survey found that the lead performers in satisfactory billing were in the most competitive markets.

Echo’s UK poll of 1,000 adults found that 77% had at some time and with some provider experienced billing problems including inaccuracy and complexity. Lack of clarity emerged as the preferred improvement with 33% of respondents wanting to see less complexity. Next up was better service but with only 17% of those quizzed looking for it.

just over seven out of ten respondents preferred online billing to paper. But Echo warned that there was a disconnect associated with online bills with customers not engaging and even failing to read the bill. In a market where customer service might be the main battleground for rival suppliers, disengaged customers could prove damaging.

Water firms currently fared moderately in sector comparisons of performance in billing with a score of 7.24 out of ten – just behind telecoms providers at 7.25 with mobile telecoms in pole with 7.57 and local authorities the back markers with 6.88.