Complaints from businesses to the Consumer Council for Water remained high in Q3 2018 at 1,037. The watchdog said this was around 200 more than the same period in 2017 and only a marginal decrease from the 1,109 registered in Q2 2018, which represented the worst three-month period for complaints to CCWater since the market opened for business in April 2017.
Grievances about billing and charges accounted for 729 complaints received by CCWater between October and December 2018, with poor market data often the root cause of problems. The next highest cause was administration, which chalked up 145 complaints. 94% of all complaints were about retailers, with only 4% about wholesalers.
Evan Joanette, policy manager at CCWater, said: “The market was supposed to simplify billing for businesses, not create an unnecessary headache for them. Some retailers have demonstrated it is possible to drive down complaints and deliver a better level of service. As we approach the second anniversary of competition we need to see an improving picture across the whole market.”
In the summer, CCWater will be publishing its second annual report giving non-household customers the chance to compare the complaints performance of retailers.