Guaranteed standards of service

This customer charter emphasises our commitment to our household customers. It details the minimum standards of service you can expect in our main areas of business – and the compensation payments we’ll make if we fall short of these standards from 1 October 2020.​

 

Water supply

Supply interruptions

Planned

If we have to carry out planned work which involves interrupting your water supply for more than four hours, we’ll let you know at least 48 hours before the interruption will start and will tell you when we expect the supply to be restored.

If we fail to correctly notify you of the interruption or if the supply is not restored in the stated time, we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £30.

Payments for planned supply interruptions will not apply under the following circumstances:

  • Industrial action by our employees makes it unfeasible for us to give the correct notice at least 48 hours before the supply was cut off.
  • The act or default of a person other than our representative made it unfeasible for us to give the correct notice at least 48 hours before the supply was cut off.
  • It’s impractical for us to have identified you as being affected, and you haven’t made a claim within three months of the date on which the supply was cut off.

Unplanned

Clearly, we cannot notify you before an unplanned interruption, such as a burst. However, we aim to restore your supply within 12 hours.

If the interruption extends beyond that, we’ll automatically compensate you for this and each additional period of 12 hours during which the interruption continues.

If we believe the interruption period is going to be significant, where possible, we’ll arrange an alternative supply.

If we fail to restore the supply within 12 hours , we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £30. A further automatic payment of £30 will be made for each additional period of 12 hours during which the interruption continues.

Identifying all properties and customers affected by an interruption can be difficult. Where this is the case and you’ve been affected by an interruption but we haven’t contacted you, to obtain any compensation, you must make a claim (either orally or in writing) within three months following the date on which the supply was interrupted or cut off. If you’d like to make a claim, please complete the web form at the bottom of the contact us page.

If we were aware you had been affected by an interruption and we fail to advise you of the compensation due to you within 20 working days of the date of interruption, you may be entitled to a further penalty payment of £20, which we’ll automatically credit to your water services account.

Low water pressure

If, due to unplanned events, you experience significant low pressure – less than seven metres static head (0.7 bar) in your communication pipe – for more than one hour on two separate occasions within a 28-day period, we’ll credit your water services account with £25. 

As identifying all properties affected by low water pressure can be difficult, you should make a claim to ensure you receive this compensation. All claims must be made in writing within three months of the second occasion. If you’d like to make a claim, please complete the web form at the bottom of the contact us page.

Wastewater

Sewer flooding – general

Normally, we’ll aim to respond to a complaint of sewer flooding within two hours of the first report of flooding entering a property (internal) and within four hours if flooding is outside a property (external).

Where possible, we’ll also provide a disinfection service within 12 hours (internal flooding) or within 24 hours (external flooding).

Sewer flooding – internal and external

Internal flooding

If your premises are internally flooded due to a failure of our drainage system, we’ll automatically make a payment to you of an amount equivalent to your annual wastewater charge, from a minimum of £150 to a maximum of £1,000 for each incident.

We’ll write to you within 20 working days of the incident, enclosing details of payment and informing you of the action we plan to take and any investigations we intend to carry out.

If we fail to make a payment either by sending you a cheque or by crediting your account within 20 working days of the incident, you’ll be entitled to an additional payment of £20, which we’ll automatically credit to your account.

External flooding

If your property is flooded externally due to a failure of our drainage system, you may claim an amount equivalent to half your annual sewerage charges – from a minimum of £75 to a maximum of £500.

You must make a claim within three months of the incident and provide information to prove you were materially affected by the flooding incident.

If you have any photographs of the flooding, please send them to us with a completed claim form. Forms can be downloaded from our website or requested by calling our Contact Centre on 0330 303 0368 (calls charged at local rate).

We’ll write to you within 20 working days of receiving your substantiated claim, enclosing details of your payment.

If we fail to either send you a cheque or credit your account within 20 working days of receiving your claim, you’ll be entitled to an additional payment of £20.

Internal and external flooding

If you experience both internal and external flooding in one incident, the payment you’re entitled to will be calculated based on internal flooding. 

Conditions

In all cases, payments will not apply if:

  • the flooding happened because of exceptional weather conditions or industrial action
  • the flooding was caused by customer’s action or any defect, blockage or inadequacy of private sewers, council or highway drains
  • you notified us more than three months after your property was flooded.
Customer service

Account queries

We aim to respond to written account queries within five working days.

If we fail to respond to a written account query regarding the correctness of our charges within 10 working days of receiving your query, we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £20.

If we fail to credit your account within 10 working days of our reply, you’ll be entitled to a further penalty payment of £10, which we’ll automatically credit to your water services account.

Payment arrangements

We’ll respond to a request to change your payment method within five working days of receiving your request.

If we can’t agree to the request and fail to meet this standard, we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £20.

​If we fail to credit your account within 10 working days of our reply, you’ll be entitled to a further payment of £10, which we’ll automatically credit to your water services account.

Written complaints

We aim to make a full response to a written complaint within five working days of receiving your letter.

If we fail to send a reply within 10 working days, we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £20.

If we fail to send you a refund cheque or credit your account within 10 working days of our reply, you’ll be entitled to a further penalty payment of £10, which we’ll automatically credit to your water services account.

Appointments

Appointments

When we need to visit you at your premises and you need to be present, we’ll advise you whether our visit will take place either morning (before 12pm) or afternoon (after 12pm).

You can request the visit to occur in a two hour period (if preferred).

If we book the appointment incorrectly by failing to specify a morning/afternoon slot – or two hour slot, if requested – we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £20.

If we don’t keep the appointment as made (the agreed day, morning/afternoon slot as specified, or two-hour time slot if agreed), we’ll credit your water services account with £20.

If we fail to make the appointment or cancel the appointment with less than 24 hours’ notice, we’ll automatically credit your water services account with £20.

Payments will not apply under the following circumstances:

  • You cancel the appointment.
  • We cancel the appointment, giving at least 24 hours’ notice.
  • Keeping the appointment isn’t feasible due to severe weather.
  • Keeping the appointment isn’t feasible due to industrial action by our employees.
  • Keeping the appointment isn’t feasible due to an act or default of a person other our representative.

If we fail to credit your account within 10 working days of the missed appointment date, you’ll be entitled to an additional compensation payment of £10, which we’ll automatically credit to your water services account.

 
 
 
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