Castle Water responsible for nearly half of all complaints to CC Water

The Consumer Council for Water (CC Water) has called Castle Water out for “unacceptable levels of complaints from its customers”. The watchdog reported complaints about Castle Water were more than double the industry average and accounted for around 44% of the 1,630 complaints it received about retailers 1 September 2017 to the end of February 2018.

Sir Tony Redmond, CC Water’s London and South East chair, said: “Many of the businesses that have contacted us have been angry and frustrated at Castle Water’s handling of their accounts and complaints. We’ve made very clear to the company it needs to do better and we will continue to shine a light on its performance and any other retailers where we have serious concerns.”

In a response to CC Water Castle Water issues a list of claims including its call waiting time had been less than 50 seconds for the past four months and it had resolved "thousands of serious historical errors in billing data and is currently resolving several thousand more issues." The company chief, John Reynolds (pictured), said CCWater "has simply not got to grips with the detail of the new market. Its ostrich impression doesn’t help customers and will distort the market.”

Castle’s market share is 21% and it has sustained the greatest losses – 31,221 supply points to 1 March – of all suppliers in the market.

On retail market complaints more widely, CC Water reported it had seen a higher than expected rise in complaints from customers of some of the retailers since the opening of the non-household retail water market in England last April, though behind the scenes many retailers have shown a willingness to share good practice and help resolve problems.

CCWater said it will be highlighting the best and worst performing retailers when it publishes its first annual market complaints report in the summer. The report will feature all customer complaints made directly to retailers, as well as those made to the watchdog.