Water firms shamed by complaints

Three water companies have been named and shamed for receiving almost double the industry average number of complaints.

South East Water, United Utilities and South West Water have been warned to improve their performance amid a trend of declining complaints across the industry, the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) said.

Complaints to water companies in England and Wales fell by nearly 17 per cent last year, bringing complaint numbers down by nearly a third in two years.

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But while the figures look promising, many companies have further to go if they are to turn complaint numbers around completely, the CCW said.

Companies with a considerable drop in complaints compared with the previous year's figures included Southern Water (39 per cent fewer complaints), Veolia Water Central (30 per cent), Anglian Water (27 per cent) and Severn Trent Water (23 per cent).

Other companies with already low complaint numbers to improve further last year included Northumbrian Water and Veolia Water Southeast.

But the CCW warned that water companies are on average only part-way through "an appropriate recovery", as complaints are still 33 per cent higher than they were in 2004.