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South West Water rated as worst in value for money survey

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 02, 2012

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Just one in three customers think South West Water delivers value for money – by far the worst rate in the country.

A survey for the Consumer Council for Water revealed that only 35% of people thought the water company, which has historically had the highest bills in the UK, gave value for money.

The rating for South West Water was less than half of the national average of 72%. The national table was led by Northumbrian Water with 83%.

Overall, 86% of people in the region were satisfied with the service they received, just under the national average of 92%.

The council said South West Water had the "hardest job to do" to improve its value for money rating but said the result was "unsurprising" given the price that consumers had paid for cleaning up the region's beaches.

Tony Smith, chief executive of the consumer council, said: "Customers' views reflect the continuing price increases and water companies' lack of communication about what they are doing with the extra money they are getting from customers.

"We will be pushing water companies, particularly the poor performers, to improve their communication with their customers and show an improved trend on customer satisfaction with value for money.

"We will also be pressing for water regulation to incentivise water companies to improve this vital measure of success for the industry."

The council said customer satisfaction regarding value for money for water and sewerage was broadly in line with the energy sector where bills were much higher.

It has published the full report on its website, allowing water customers to compare the results for their company across the industry.

A spokesman for South West Water said it was "pleased" with the overall satisfaction figure of 86% and was "working hard to build on that". It also welcomed that the consumer council recognised the South West's "special circumstances" having just 3% of the population but a third of the country's beaches.

Over the last 20 years, £2 billion has been spent to ensure 146 bathing waters meet EU cleanliness standards.

Customer relations director Monica Read said: "In many aspects of this survey we do well, but we do understand the sense of unfairness many people feel that a small population has to pay for such a major coastal clean-up.

"We have worked hard with others to make this case at the highest levels and thanks to those efforts we are currently putting in place plans to pass on the £50 for every household from the Government from next year.

"This legislation was passed in recognition of the investment the region has made in its bathing waters, which are enjoyed by people from all around the UK and beyond."

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  • haydnlock  |  January 31 2013, 5:50PM

    http://tinyurl.com/aw4pbh8 The Wet Bandits

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  • jackplane  |  July 04 2012, 6:44PM

    why r we paying twice for meter rental ,first for the water second for the removal but we all have only one meter ?

    Rate   -1
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  • Yesboy1  |  July 04 2012, 4:42PM

    cant wait for the nhs to be privatised i can then choose not to vaccinate / attend emergency department and so forth. we are all sheep for allowing this govn to privatise the police and nhs

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  • Bodhisattva83  |  July 04 2012, 9:31AM

    1 in 3 simply stupid people; fact. i didnt know that a third of our population has clearly got more money than sense.

    Rate   -2
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  • NICKERS  |  July 04 2012, 9:23AM

    Well water is something most of us cannot do without so we have no choice but to get it from SWW. However I do have a choice on how I pay for it. I never pay by direct debit because there is no incentive such as a slight reduction. So I use my Cash back credit card instead with a 1% rebate on all spend at the end of the financial year.

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  • josdave  |  July 04 2012, 9:00AM

    "A survey for the Consumer Council for Water revealed that only 35% of people thought the water company, which has historically had the highest bills in the UK, gave value for money" I'd like to know who these 35% were as they clearly are mnot living in the same world as me. The lowest waged having the highest bills (for something so essential for life as water) should be criminal and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called value for money.

    Rate   4
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  • raggetyanne  |  July 04 2012, 8:38AM

    my water bill is my biggest bill!!! and yet water is a necessity not a luxury to keep warm and have heating,lighting etc is a very big need but it has been managed without and wont kill you. you need water to live.......should be free, end of

    Rate   7
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  • kevinretallic  |  July 03 2012, 12:51PM

    Capitalism?

    Rate   3
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  • mandara1  |  July 03 2012, 11:57AM

    When SWW get fined for their various indiscretions - i.e polluting rivers etc.,who pays the fines? Does it pay the fines from the money it collects from us,the consumer?

    Rate   8
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  • mandara1  |  July 03 2012, 11:55AM

    When SWW get fined for their various indiscretions - i.e polluting rivers etc.,who pays the fines? Does it pay the fines from the money it collects from us,the consumer?

    Rate   4
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