Billing issues untap wave of household water customer complaints

Thames Water and Southern Water stand out as poor performers in relation to written complaints, according to a new report

Big Zero Report 2022

Disputes over bills remain the biggest cause of concern for water companies‘ customers.

That’s according to a new report by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) which suggests billing issues continue to make up the bulk of customers’ complaints, an estimated 61%.

The study found that complaints about wastewater services rose for a fourth successive year since last year.

The CCW suggests that 14 out of 19 companies received fewer written complaints from their customers than the previous year.

However, it stresses that progress as a whole across the industry would have been even greater had it not been for the poor performance on written complaints of Thames Water and Southern Water.

Warren Buckley, Customer Experience Director at Thames Water, said: “Our aim is to always deliver brilliant customer service. It’s one of the biggest priorities of our plan to turn around our performance and our shareholders have recently approved an additional £2 billion into the business so we can improve outcomes for customers, leakage and river health.

“Last year we delivered a significant reduction in total complaints to the business and billing related complaints were reduced by over 30%, following improvements to our customer service. We recognise that we have more to do on written complaints as indicated by the CCW report.

“We have been investing in additional staff and implementing new management and website self-service systems to improve customer journeys and policies to improve quality, such as our new escalation team who proactively contact customers expressing dissatisfaction with our service.”

ELN approached Southern Water for comment.

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