Six of the twelve larger retailers received more complaints last year compared to the same period in 2020-21.
That’s just one of the findings of a new report by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) which found that Water Plus, SES Business Water, Clear Business Water and Castle Water are generating the most concerns among their customers.
The authors of the report note that in contrast, there are many smaller retailers who haven’t generated any complaints at all.
Annual figures also show that written complaints from business customers to their retailer fell by 2% in 2021-22.
Emma Clancy, Chief Executive of CCW, said: “The water market in England promised to deliver higher standards of service but too many business customers are still experiencing problems.
“Businesses deserve a good service from their water retailer and while it is encouraging to see a further improvement in this area, written complaints are only one indicator of a customer’s overall experience of their retailer, and the market.”
Andy Hughes, Chief Executive of Water Plus, said: “We’re very disappointed with the number of complaints and we’ll not stop our efforts with customers – and our additional actions – to reduce any areas where these can occur.
“A unique factor for us, in the last year, saw the introduction of two new wholesaler initiatives by Severn Trent and United Utilities to update information on site use in England and, under industry requirements, bringing customers into charge where they’re using water, with this work also contributing to complaints.
“Amongst other market measures, work by our team means we’re amongst the top three water retailers in market performance (MPS) scores at the start of this new financial year – and customer satisfaction scores have seen an upward trend, since October in independent survey results, with 70% of customers rating us as 5 Stars, out of 5, for general satisfaction.”
Stacey Clarke, Customer Care Director and Gary Hart, Head of Metering and Billing Operations at Clear Business Water, said: “Our aim is to reduce customer complaints and we’re committed to taking steps to improve the quality of service we provide to all our customers.
“We realise that we’re not there yet but will continue to work on this, in partnership with CCW. Both we and CCW hope and expect that the improvements made over the last year will reduce the number of written complaints we receive and we’ve already seen the number of complaints made to CCW about us reduce by 49% since 2020-2021.”
ELN has contacted SES Business Water and Castle Water for a response.