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  • by Trevor Loveday

Yorkshire Water tests partnership to support hard up customers

Yorkshire Water is trialling a new partnership to improve the support it offers to its customers who may be struggling financially.


The utility has joined forces with TellJo, which helps businesses understand the reasons why customers have missed payments. Its tie with Yorkshire is its first direct partnership within the water sector.

  

The water company is using the technology to improve the support available to customers, including offering payment arrangements, and the option to sign up to debt or support schemes and to register to be on the Yorkshire Water Priority Services Register.


In an initial TellJo trial in autumn 2023, around 2,000 Yorkshire customers were asked to complete a seven-minute wellbeing check to identify what vulnerabilities they may have. That pilot has been expanded, and by the end of 2023-24, Yorkshire Water is aiming to roll out the TellJo questionnaire to more than 12,000 customers to help those who require it to access additional support.

 

Community engagement manager at Yorkshire Water, Claire Gott, said: “We know when customers don’t pay their bills or fall into financial difficulty there’s often more to their circumstances and we want to understand how customers are coping and what we can do to help.


“When customers complete the wellbeing check, TellJo provides them with tailored outcomes and Yorkshire Water can offer payment arrangements, financial help through support schemes and possibly add them to its priority services register. 


Co-founder of TellJo, Dominic Maxwell, said: “We can help companies identify the root causes of why customers fall into debt, and signpost customers in the right direction to receive help and prevent them falling into a crisis. Through this first phase of the pilot, we’ve identified several vulnerabilities, whether that be physical or mental health, chronic illness, financial, health or addiction. 

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