1. ITV Report

Essex and Suffolk Water warned to improve after surge of complaints

Complaints to the water supplier have more than doubled over the last year Credit: ITV News Anglia

Essex and Suffolk Water has been told by the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) that it must show a “marked improvement”.

After a spike in complaints, they are now one of four companies across England and Wales to be challenged over their poor performance.

Written complaints have more than doubled in the last year, including a significant rise in the number of customers who had to pick up the phone to resolve an issue with the supplier.

The consumer watchdog (CCWater) has called for this to be reversed after they returned over £600,000 in financial redress to households who were let down by Essex and Suffolk Water.

The company struggled to deal with the increased contact with customers who were experiencing difficulties Credit: ITV News Anglia

The company struggled to cope with the extra contact that was generated by its new billing system, which caused a lot of frustration for some customers.

– Professor Bernard Crump, Central and Eastern Chair of the Consumer Council for Water

Extra staff were drafted in to deal with a steep rise in contact from households who were experiencing difficulties with these new billing changes.

Despite this, Essex and Suffolk Water is now the second worst performing company in England and Wales for complaints about billing and charges.

Essex and Suffolk Water must now provide CCWater with quarterly reports highlighting what steps it is taking to get back on track.

We hope Essex and Suffolk Water is now over the worst of it but we want to see clear evidence over the coming months that complaints are falling and customers are seeing real benefits from the changes to billing.

– Professor Bernard Crump, Central and Eastern Chair of the Consumer Council for Water