Water2Business is the best performer in CC Water retail complaints league

Water2Business was the best performing retailer on customer complaints in the first full year of the market, according to data released last week by the Consumer Council for Water.

Figures on written complaints made to retailers between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 showed the Wessex and Bristol joint venture chalked up just 17.8 complaints per 10,000 supply points, compared to the industry average of 51.8. Other top performers were Affinity for Business on 18.1 and SES Business Water on 22.

Charley Maher, managing director of water2business, said: “Ensuring customers receive high levels of customer service was top priority for us when the market opened a year ago, and remains a core part of our strategy today. When our customers get in touch, they speak to someone straight away and we aim to resolve any issues quickly. Key to our success are our employees who are passionate about what they do and are on hand to provide expert advice.”

The poorest performers of the major retailers were Castle (69.6 complaints per 10,000 SPIDs), followed closely by Wave (65.3) and then Water Plus (56.8). Both Yorkshire Water businesses did poorly too: the in-area Yorkshire Water Business Services recording 55.6, and Three Sixty’s complaint record off the scale at 1428.6 (one complaint from only seven SPIDs). Of the smaller firms, only Clear Business Water put in a below average performance, recording 57.7 complaints per 10,000 SPIDs.

CC Water highlighted that most retailers had adapted well to the new environment and that the rise in complaints (to retailers, up by 26% to 14,885 on the previous year; to CC Water up 230%) was “driven by a small number of poor performing retailers who were responsible for a disproportionate share of the rise in complaints.”

Tony Smith, chief executive of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “We had expected complaints to rise as the market finds its feet but it’s now time for poorer performing retailers – including Castle Water, Wave and Water Plus – to get their act together. Retailers who routinely deliver a poor service could start to see a backlash from businesses as their awareness of the market and right to shop around for a more reliable supplier continues to rise.”

Almost two-thirds of complaints made to CCWater related to bills, with many of these business customers disputing the amount of water they had been charged for using.