The Consumer Council for Water has today (September 21) revealed complaints to water companies fell by 17% last year.

This, says the council, means complaint numbers are down by nearly a third in the last two years.

Water companies with a considerable drop in complaints last year included Southern Water, with 39% fewer complaints, Veolia Water Central, with 30% fewer complaints, Anglian Water, with 27% fewer complaints and Severn Trent Water with 23% fewer complaints compared to the previous year’s figures.

However, the council said there are still a number of water companies that need to make further improvements.

South East Water, United Utilities, and South West Water still received almost double the industry’s average number of complaints per customer.

Chair of the Consumer Council for Water, Dame Yve Buckland, said: “Unfortunately, there are still a few companies who are letting their customers down when it comes to service.

“Despite a 9% drop in complaints, South East Water continues to be one of the worst performing companies in the industry.

“It is particularly poor for a smaller company that only provides water, and is not involved in the sewerage side of the business.

“Although complaints to United Utilities dropped by 16% last year the company is recovering from a period of high numbers of complaints. It has a lot of work to do to bring service levels more in line with the rest of the industry.

“South West Water’s complaints dropped by 5% last year, but the company’s higher than average complaint numbers have traditionally been linked to its higher than average prices, and South West Water must work harder to prove to customers that their services are good value for money.”

The council also said while complaints in England have dropped, in Wales it is a different story, with water complaints to Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water up by nearly 6% and Dee Valley Water up by 44%.”

Luke Walsh

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