The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) has applauded the efforts of Severn Trent Water and South Staffordshire Water for substantially reducing the number of complaints they received from customers. The report by the consumer watchdog reveals that the two Midlands-based water suppliers saw among the largest falls in written complaints from customers in 2015/16.

Severn Trent Water’s 27.8 per cent reduction has propelled it up the rankings to the second best performing water and sewerage company in England and Wales. South Staffs Water also improved its position among the water only companies with its complaints plummeting 32.5 per cent – the second largest fall of any company.

Across the whole of England and Wales complaints dropped marginally by 0.5 per cent, with ten out of 21 water companies reporting an increase. Telephone calls made by customers to water companies to resolve problems continued to fall broadly in line with written complaints.

Professor Bernard Crump, Central and Eastern Chair for the Consumer Council for Water, said:

“What is most pleasing is that both Severn Trent Water and South Staffs Water have maintained a downward trend in complaints over several years. That shows a commitment by both companies to keep improving their services for customers and resolve problems quickly and effectively when things do go wrong.”

The report shows that across England and Wales non-household customers, which includes all businesses, were almost twice as likely to complain to their water company than household customers. But companies who continue to deliver poor service could face a backlash next April when non-household customers in England will be able to switch to a different water retailer to provide services including billing, meter reading and customer service.