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Water complaints up says CCWater

Southern Water, South East Water and South West Water had the highest number of complaints last year said the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).

CCWater revealed that specific problems within a few water companies caused an 11% rise in complaints last year, while complaints to many other water companies either remained steady or fell.

The introduction of a new billing system led to a 155% per cent increase in complaints to Southern Water. Complaints to Anglian Water went up by 56%, again because of trouble with the introduction of a new billing system, and South East Water saw complaints rise by 55% per cent on top of already high complaint figures.

Chair of the Consumer Council for Water Dame Yve Buckland, said: "Without the high increases in complaints to Southern Water, Anglian Water and South East Water, figures for the industry overall would have dropped."

Water UK responded to CCWater's report: 'Complaint Handling in the Water Industry in England and Wales 2007-08' by noting that the report showed: "an underlying downward trend in the number of complaints. The overall increase being due to one-off reasons linked to the introduction of new billing systems at a small number of companies."

Complaints to Severn Trent Water fell by a third while other water companies such as Yorkshire Water, Northumbrian Water, Portsmouth Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Hartlepool Water, Tendring Hundred Water and Folkestone and Dover Water received relatively few complaints.

Last year the Consumer Council for Water helped customers secure £1.76M in compensation and rebates from water companies, and has so far worked with water companies to bring customers an extra £130M in benefits, either through extra investments or reduced prices.

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