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Customer complaints down last year

October 9, 2009 at 4:02 am

The Consumer Council for Water has released new figures stating that complaints to water companies overall went down last year compared to the previous year. However, there are still a number of companies that are not performing well enough.

The amount of complaints across the board fell by 15% last year. Complaints in most categories went down overall, although when it came to metering complaints did not fall.

A number of companies drastically improved their complaints levels after overcoming problems in previous years, and this was responsible for improving the average across the board.

Of the companies that did not perform so well, United Utilities was the main offender with complaints going up by 36%. Other companies that did not maintain their performance included Southern Water, South West Water and South East Water, which all had the highest number of complaints per 1,000 customers.

The companies that saw the largest drop in complaints included Severn Trent Water with a 40% drop, Thames Water with a 27% drop, and Southern Water with a 48% drop. However, despite the huge reduction, Southern Water’s complaints level was still high compared to other companies.

The chair of the Consumer Council for Water, Dame Yve Buckland, said that things were going in the right direction, but that some customers were still suffering unnecessarily.

She said that it was “encouraging” to see that so many companies were improving their complaints levels. She also revealed that nine out of 10 customers were satisfied with the service provided by their water company.

However, she singled out South East Water for criticism, because it has a high level of complaints despite just being a water provider without dealing with sewage.

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