Value for customers

The Guaranteed Standards Scheme – minimum standards of service for customers on things like supply interruption and sewer flooding – has not kept pace with customers’ expectations. There has been no full review of payments or standards since 2008. There are also inconsistencies across England and Wales. CCW wants to see minimum GSS payments increased and new standards put in place.

CCW will feed in improvements from our “lessons learnt” work on the 2024 Price Review (PR24) to improve the next Price Review process.

We will look for opportunities to help shape the debate and regulatory framework with the long term in mind. The future of charges, customer involvement in price setting and people’s expectations on environmental quality – including informed opinions on storm overflows – are all areas we are considering.

Transparency of performance

Since December 2023, CCW has been operating the Alternative Dispute Resolution process. To ensure transparency of CCW’s processes and performance, we will review the first four months and implement improvements as necessary. We will also examine the end-to-end complaints process every quarter to drive improvement. We will publish our findings.

CCW will enhance our yearly Water Mark company performance assessment to improve accessibility and better hold companies to account.

We will continue to work with water companies to ensure consumers are able to easily access clear and reliable near real-time data on companies’ use of storm overflows.

Customer-focused culture

We will develop an incident assessment framework for water companies and retailers that includes company culture, and a process for sharing best practice – piloting from autumn 2024. We will encourage companies to publically share indicators of their culture, such as their employee experience results.

We will work with water companies to embed customer-centric culture in their organisation.

CCW will be transparent on our own performance on people and culture, mirroring our expectations for water companies.

We will facilitate Ofwat’s Your Water Your Say session in summer 2024.

Improved customer service

CCW will reinvigorate our complaint and debt assessments for water companies and retailers – assessing 10 companies in 2024-25.

We will use our extensive evidence base and work with water companies on root cause analysis of the issues that most affect customers – resulting in a decrease in complaints about billing and charges.

Getting basics right for business customers

CCW will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to deliver the recommendations from our five-year review of the business water market. One of our areas of focus will be making Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) binding on wholesalers and retailers – as it currently is for household customers.