Poor performance fuels surge in written complaints despite upgrades at two-thirds of firms

Written complaints from household customers soared by 13% in 2019-20 to the highest level for four years at 84,649. But publishing the data in its annual complaints report, CCW pointed the finger in particular at the bottom two performing companies, Thames Water and Southern Water, for skewing the overall data.

CCW said two thirds of water companies improved their performance, but written complaints about Thames increased by 57% and about Southern by 22%. Southern pointed to an 18% drop in written billing complaints since April 2020 driven by its Customer Service Improvement programme.

Bournemouth Water, Bristol Water, United Utilities and Wessex Water were praised as the best 2019-20 performers. 65% of complaints were about bills.