Southern Water comes off the worst of the water companies

October 1, 2008 at 11:17 am

Water water everywhere… but not a drop to drink. The water board must have had it with the floods and droughts here in the UK. Poor old Southern Water in Worthing, West Sussex have come out worst in a recent poll of all UK water boards and have notched up a pretty embarrassing 50,000 complaints in the last 12 months.

According to the industry regulators, The Consumer Council for Water (CCW), out of the 273,000 complaints received by water companies over the last year, over 20% were directed at Southern Water. It was a pretty bad year for Southern Water, to say the least. It wasn’t too long ago that they found themselves with only around 19,000 complaints in a year. This makes the new figure quite a rise. Last year they were comfortably mid-table in terms of performance, so why has all suddenly gone wrong?

The problems came when Southern Water launched a new £20 million billing system, which immediately led to hundreds of phone calls to their head office. There was mass confusion as to what the new statements meant and how much customers were being charged. Southern Water were pleased to announce that once the new system was settled in their customers’ minds, they saw a 60% drop in the number of complaints, but it seems it might have been too late to save people’s opinions of them this year.

Southern Water have issued a heart-felt apology for the teething problems and aim to regain customers’ trust into 2009, which is set to be an even more difficult financial time for households and their bills. For more information and a detailed breakdown on each water company, have a look at the CCW website here.

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