Thames Water to pay £11m to customers for wrong bills

Ofwat said almost 13,800 customers were billed the wrong amount

Big Zero Report 2022

Ofwat has today unveiled its decision that orders Thames Water to pay £11 million to customers for data errors.

The failure led to nearly 13,800 business customers and retailers being billed the wrong amount, the regulator said.

An Ofwat investigation also found that Thames Water failed to act even when it was clear from its own risk assessments and complaints over the accuracy of its data.

In addition to the package, Thames Water has proposed a series of undertakings which, among others, include strengthening its internal processes and controls relating to how it handles market data and complaints.

Emma Kelso, Senior Director at Ofwat, said: “This case shows the importance of wholesalers being on top of their customer and operational data and is relevant across the whole of their businesses.

“The importance and value of data is growing, and company boards must have a strong focus on this when providing their assurances that they are able to effectively provide their regulated services.”

Warren Buckley, Customer Experience Director at Thames Water, said: “Following Ofwat’s initial announcement in August, we welcome Ofwat’s final decision to accept our undertakings and to therefore impose a nominal penalty.

“We have made good progress on the key points, which are designed to improve our progress and controls over data quality and how we manage complaints. We also recognise the accuracy of some of the data we introduced into the market when it opened in 2017 could have been better, for which we apologise and we are working hard to rectify these issues as part of our turnaround plan.

“We look forward to continuing to work with all market participants to drive improvements in customer and operational data as well as support growth in the retailer marker.”

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