Customer complaints culled

20.09.2011

A utility’s ‘right first time, every time’ ethos is benefitting its customers, as demonstrated in a national report published today.

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) Complaint Handling in the Water Industry report (April 2010 – March 2011) shows that Northumbrian Water, which provides water and waste water services to 2.6 million customers, has reduced its already low number of written and email complaints from 6,646, in 2009/10, to 6,193 in 2010/11.

CCWater’s report investigates the number of complaints and how they were dealt with in five main service categories: billing and charges, water, sewerage, metering and other.

The amount of complaints received by Northumbrian Water is below the national average in the billing and charges, water and sewerage categories.

The significant drop of 40% in complaints to the water company regarding sewerage services is highlighted in the document along with the fact that the amount of complaints CCWater needs to investigate on behalf of Northumbrian Water is amongst the lowest in the country.

Ian Donald, Northumbrian Water’s customer director, said: "We are very pleased with the results in this report. Our ‘right first time, every time’ ethos is one which we are working to instil in all areas of our business and is at the core of improving our customers’ interaction with us.

"Leaders in the business demonstrating that they put customers first, each and every employee taking ownership of customer queries and working as ‘one team’ are at the heart of this culture. But at the same time, we are never complacent and know there is always room for improvement."

The full CCWater report is available at www.ccwater.org.uk

CCWater was set up in Octber 2005 to represent consumers in England and Wales. The non-departmental public body reports to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly Government.

For further information contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.

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