Water Scarcity

Water Companies Face Backlash Amidst Customer Dissatisfaction and Proposed Fines Reduction

Main image to the post Water Companies Face Backlash Amidst Customer Dissatisfaction and Proposed Fines Reduction

The cost of living crisis has significantly impacted Britons across the country, with soaring prices for essential goods and services. This includes water bills, which have risen despite declining customer satisfaction. A new map has identified the water companies with the lowest customer satisfaction ratings.

In February 2023, Ofwat announced that water companies could face fines of up to 10% of their turnover for poor customer service. This followed a report revealing a decline in customer satisfaction across most companies between 2021-2022 and 2022-2023. Experts at Showers to You analyzed data on complaints, Trustpilot reviews, average bills, and overall satisfaction to determine a "satisfaction score" out of 100.

Thames Water, currently facing a funding crisis, emerged as the worst offender for customer service. South West Water and Southern Water rounded out the top three. Martin Smith, founder of Showers to You, expressed concern over the low scores but expressed hope that Ofwat's new enforcement power would lead to improvements.

The data included total complaints per 10,000 households, a complaint handling metric, Trustpilot reviews, average six-month bills, and customer satisfaction. The complaint handling metric ranged from 1 (poor) to 4 (good) and was based on the Consumer Council for Water's (CCW) information on unresolved complaints.

Meanwhile, Ofwat is reportedly considering a "recovery regime" for Thames Water and other struggling companies. This regime could involve reduced or waived fines for water outages and sewage leaks, encouraging investment in infrastructure instead. However, this proposal has been met with criticism from clean water campaigners, who argue that it would reward companies for illegal pollution.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09