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Water companies to face huge fines for poor customer service

Water companies could face hefty fines if they don't look after their customers properly. The water regulator for England and Wales, Ofwat, has been given new powers to fine them up to a tenth of their turnover.

Ofwat said there are too many instances where customers feel let down and their supplier does not have their best interests at heart.

Ofwat's boss, David Black, said: "From today we are putting water companies on notice to improve customer service and where we see failure, Ofwat can and will take action which could result in significant fines."

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The regulator thinks these new rules will make sure customers get a better service. "It is in the companies' interests to put customers at the heart of their business and provide levels of service that increase customer satisfaction," Mr Black added.

Ofwat's latest report showed that customers are less happy with most of the companies it checks on.

In September, a different report by the Consumer Council for Water (CCW) said Southern Water was the company receiving the most complaints. The complaints they got were almost three times higher than the average for water and sewerage firms, while Thames Water's issues were more than one-and-a-half times higher.

Over 230,000 complaints were made to water companies in England and Wales by households in 2022 to 2023. Mike Keil, who is the big boss of the CCW, explained: "Every water company should provide excellent customer service but too often through our research and the complaints we handle we see people being badly let down, particularly by poor communication."

He continued saying that some companies needed to totally change their ways to make