CCW reports few hitches in retail market but flags confusion among customers

As MOSL published its Q1 retail market review, the Consumer Council for Water reported few problems but some confusion from customers with the new arrangements.

There were six times more non household customer enquiries to the watchdog in Q1 compared to the same period last year, 90% of which came from SMEs.

While complaints from businesses were also up in the quarter at 370, CC Water said this was in line with expectations and that many related to “teething problems which CCWater expects to be swiftly resolved as the market develops”. It cited specifically difficulty finding information about retailers and tariffs, and delays resolving operational issues caused by poor wholesaler/retailer communication.

Tony Smith, CCWater’s chief executive, said: “In terms of complaints made to CCWater, there is little to suggest that customers have so far encountered any major problems with switching or the services they receive from retailers. It’s also clear from the customer contact we’ve received that many smaller businesses need more help getting to grips with the new market. Retailers and water companies need to work harder to ensure customers are well informed so they can exercise their choice with confidence.”

CCWater is working closely with retailers to improve their service and to tackle any emerging issues that have caused concern for customers. It is also collecting complaints data directly from retailers, which will be used to publish annual league tables comparing their performance.

Separately last week, CC Water published its annual review for 2016/17. This can be accessed HERE