When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Customers complain more about Southern Water
7:18am Wednesday 2nd October 2013 in News
ONE of the south’s biggest water companies is the worst performing in the country when it comes to written complaints, a consumer body has revealed.
Southern Water received a staggering 77 per cent increase in written complaints in 2012/13 compared to the previous year, according to the Written Customer Complaints Report compiled by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW). Nationally the figure has dropped by 7.4 per cent.
The report reveals that the firm, which provides water services for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, recorded 22,815 complaints between April 1, 2012, and March 31, 2013, but received only 12,863 complaints the previous year.
CCW said the company’s problems stemmed from insufficient staffing resources when it extended call centre opening hours; customers getting the highest overall bill increases in the year for a water and sewerage company; a rise in customers contacting the firm about its compulsory water meter programme for households and the organisation billing properties it previously thought were unoccupied.
Tony Smith, chief executive of CCW, said it continues to tell the regulator Ofwat that there needs to be stronger penalties for water companies who are failing to satisfy customers’ expectations.
Southern Water has promised to improve the service it offers customers after receiving an unacceptable number of written complaints in 2012/13.
In a statement Southern Water said the company has taken action to make things better for its customers since the beginning of the financial year.
This has already resulted in a 40 per cent reduction in written complaints in June, July and August this year compared to the same period last year, it said,.
As part of its improvement plan, the company has brought in a new customer senior management team, including Chief Customer Officer Darren Bentham.
He said: “I’d like to apologise for letting our customers down. Simply put, our service has not been good enough and these figures are unacceptable ¬– but we’re doing something about it.
“We’ve carried out a major review of almost every aspect of our work with customers and have made some key changes.”
Comments are closed on this article.