The number of customers who believe their water company is delivering value for money is steadily rising, with satisfaction levels currently sitting at a five year high. This is according to the annual ‘Water Matters’ survey conducted by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).
A minimum of 200 interviews were conducted with customers of each water and sewerage company and 150 with customers of each water-only company in England and Wales. 5,964 phone interviews later with water and sewerage bill payers and some interesting results came to light surrounding the collective sentiment towards water companies.
Some of the findings include:
- 73 percent of customers believe that water companies care more about that quality of the service they provide than energy suppliers (68 percent)
- Households trust their water companies more than they do their energy providers
- One out of every five customers are aware that they could be entitled to rebates if none of the surface water drainage from their property runs into the public sewer
- One out of every three homeowners have knowledge of the fact that their sewerage company is responsible for resolving any problems with the shared sewerage pipes on their property
With specific regards to the satisfaction levels indicated by the participants, the study found that customer satisfaction with the quality of tap water they receive remains very high at 93 percent, so too the sewerage services at 91 percent.
Out of the ten water and sewerage companies in England and Wales, five have all enjoyed a steady rise in satisfaction levels since 2011, including Wessex Water, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water, United Utilities, and South West Water. Leading the way though are Yorkshire Water and Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, who boast the highest rates of satisfied customers. Yorkshire Water has the most satisfied customers when it comes to the value of the tap water they’re getting (83 percent), while Cymru Welsh Water’s sewerage services have 82 percent of their customers satisfied.
All of these findings suggest that the industry as a whole is heading in the right direction with satisfaction levels now sitting at five percent higher than they were in 2011.
Tony Smith, Chief Executive for the Consumer Council for Water, said: “It’s no coincidence that satisfaction levels have risen at the same time water companies have shown a greater commitment to listen to what their customers want. The signs are encouraging but the job is not done. Many customers who genuinely cannot afford their bills are missing out on assistance schemes which could ease the pressure on thousands of households. We’re working hard with the industry to change this.”
The results of the study were published on June 28th 2016 and this annual Water Matters survey has been commissioned by CCWater since 2006, as a way to assess the changing views of customers over time on water and sewerage services. This ultimately raises the standards throughout the industry and serves to benefit the consumers in the end, but it also gives consumers the power to gauge their own water company’s performance in comparison with others.