Customer watchdog reports wide gulf in handling gripes and unwanted contacts

Written complaints and unwanted telephone contacts by customers to water companies fell overall in 2017/18 compared to 2016/7, though performance varied considerably company to company.

According to the Consumer Council for Water’s (CCWater's) household complaints report, of the large firms, Wessex performed best on written complaints with 14.6 per 10,000 connected properties, while Portsmouth did best of the water only companies (and overall) with just 10.3. This compares with the worst performers’ Southern (31.6) of the water and sewerage firms and Bristol of the WOCs.

On unwanted telephone contacts, Anglian was the best performer of the WASCs by some way, with 360 contacts per 10,000 connected properties, while of the WOCs, Bournemouth did best with 375.6. This compares with poorest performers WASC Southern (1,255.7) and WOC SES Water (983.4).

CCWater has asked Bristol, SES and Southern to report quarterly on what action they are taking to reduce complaints.

More widely, the Beast from the East took its toll, pushing complaints about water supply specifically up by 10%.