Water Matters Survey finds 'gulf' between customer satisfaction for services and fairness of charges

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29th July 2019 15:09 - Utilities

Water Matters Survey finds 'gulf' between high customer satisfaction with services and satisfaction over billing: An annual survey conducted by DJS Research for the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has found what the consumer body describes as a 'gulf' between high customer satisfaction for services and poor satisfaction relating to fairness over charges.

The latest Water Matters Survey  found that despite 9 out of 10 customers feeling satisfied with the service they receive for water and sewerage, just 4 in 10 customers believe what they pay is fair.

The annual survey, polling 5,100 customers in England and Wales, also found that although satisfaction levels for services were high, they have fallen since the last survey in 2017. Water services saw a drop of two percentage points, from 92% to 90% in 2018. Similarly, satisfaction with services has decreased from 88% in 2017 to 85% in the latest research. In Wales, however, the level of satisfaction was higher in both areas. 

When it comes to satisfaction with value for money of services, 72% of customers feel satisfied with the water services their provider offers, while 75% said the same for sewerage. In terms of fairness over billing, 63% agree that the charges for water services are fair. 

The poll also found that trust in water companies continues to grow, with a score this year of 7.7 - placing water companies ahead of energy suppliers when it comes to customer trust.

Also revealed in the survey was a drop in confidence at water suppliers being able to guarantee long-term water supply availability without restriction, from 77% in 2017 to 73% in the latest survey. 

Dr Mike Keil, Head of Policy and Research for the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Customers’ perceptions over the fairness of their bills have languished behind satisfaction with service for almost a decade and companies cannot afford to ignore people’s concerns any longer.”

“Fairness reflects people’s wider views and confidence in the industry and companies that are complacent run the risk of increasing discontent among their customers.”

You can read the Water Matters Highlights Report here and the full data report here



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