Water companies letting customers down - Ofwat

While most water companies are delivering a good level of service a minority are still not getting it right, according to the industry regulator.

Ofwat has published its annual Levels of Service report and while its good news for the bulk of the water industry, it will make less enjoyable reading for some key players.

"Customers are reaping the benefits of regulatory pressure brought by Ofwat and the actions of the companies over many years," said the watchdog's director of consumer protection, Andrew Dunn.

"We expect these high standards to be maintained and will not shy away from taking appropriate action where they are not."

Severn Trent, Southern Water and South East Water were the worst offenders when it came to customer service, with consumers reporting difficulties contacting the companies by phone or in writing.

Ofwat said it would now be watching these companies closely as they work on plans to improve customer care.

Southern Water is putting its money where its mouth is and has pledged to pay its customers extra compensation if it fails to deliver on the improvements outlined in its plan.

As part of a regulated industry, all water companies must sign up to a Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS), which reviews how they deliver and report standards of service.

In turn Ofwat reports on how they have complied with their scheme.

The watchdog's full report can be found on the Ofwat website.

Sam Bond



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