Wales

Welsh Water customer complaints fall by more than 14%

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Image caption Watchdog says Welsh Water is second best performing water and sewerage organisation in England and Wales

Customer complaints against Welsh Water have fallen by more than 14% in the last year, according to an industry watchdog.

The company is the second best performing water and sewerage organisation in England and Wales, said the Consumer Council for Water.

There were 4,003 written complaints - by letter, fax or email - in the 12 months to the end of March.

Complaints across the UK fell for the fifth year in a row.

In the 12 months to the end of March 2013, complaints to Welsh Water fell from 4,660 to 4,003.

It reduced written complaints for a third successive year, meaning they are half of what they were in 2004-05.

Consumer Council Water also said written complaints against Dee Valley Water, which supplies water to north east Wales, had fallen by more than 28%.

Diane McCrea, chair of the Consumer Council Water Wales committee, said: "Welsh Water remains the second best performing water and sewerage company in England and Wales and it shows the pressure we put on companies to improve is paying dividends.

"There is no room for complacency though and we will continue to work closely with both companies [Welsh Water and Dee Valley Water] to identify where they can improve their services even further."

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water's chief executive Chris Jones said the company was pleased with the findings.

"hey are the result of a lot of hard work by the people that work for us and reflect the customer service culture which always puts our customers first," he said.

"As our customers continue to benefit from our unique 'not-for-profit' ownership model, we will strive to be the best possible water company for our customers."

Across the UK, there were 150,942 written complaints - by letter, fax or email - in the 12 months to the end of March.

Consumer Council Water said this was a 7.4% drop. In the previous year it was a 12% fall.

Telephone complaints also fell broadly in line with written complaints.

Billing and charges remains the biggest area of concern for customers, accounting for more than 56% of the total written complaints, across the UK.

Southern Water saw the biggest rise in written complaints - a 77% increase compared with the previous year.

Wessex Water was the best performing water and sewerage company based on the measure of complaints per 10,000 customers.

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