Complaints procedure

Our commitment

At Cambridge Water we are committed to providing the best possible service at all times.

If you are not happy with any part of our service, please call us in the first instance – we value and act on your comments to improve the way we deal with customers in the future.

Complaints procedure

Querying your bill

If you believe that you should not have received a bill, or it is wrong, you should advise the company as soon as possible by calling 01223 706050. If there is a genuine dispute, any recovery processes will be put on hold while we investigate. If you have a metered property an unusually high reading may indicate that you have a water leak. To find out how you can use your meter to check for leaks and to find out more information, please read our section on leakage.

Issues with your water supply

Cambridge Water prides itself on delivering the highest quality water to its customers. You can find out more about the issues that may affect your water supply here. If you have a complaint about the quality of your water you should contact us in the first instance. Our water quality is regulated by the Drinking Water Inspectorate and we have a duty to ensure the water we supply is wholesome and fit to drink.

Complaints about your wastewater

Your wastewater service is provided by Anglian Water. Cambridge Water bills and collects on their behalf. If you have a complaint about your wastewater service please contact them directly on 03457 145145 or write to them at:

Anglian Water

Customer Services

PO Box 10642

Harlow

CM20 9HA

Making a complaint

When we receive a complaint, we have set in place a procedure that will ensure that your complaint is handled by the most appropriate person.

Stage 1: Notify us

In the first instance please call us on 01223 706050. Our offices are open 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. Our control room is staffed 24 hours a day for emergency notification of loss of water, pressure or water quality complaints.

Our overriding aim is to resolve your complaint as efficiently and effectively as possible and if appropriate we will provide an immediate response.

All our employees have a thorough knowledge of the company’s procedures and are committed to providing the highest quality of service at all times. We will ensure your complaint is thoroughly addressed and we will aim to resolve it to your complete satisfaction.

Written complaints

If your complaint is in writing (this includes complaints received by fax or email), please include your phone number, as we may need to call you to ask for further clarification of the issue or to arrange a visit in order to carry out an investigation.

All complaints should be addressed to:

Customer Services

Cambridge Water

90 Fulbourn Road

Cambridge CB1 9JN

Fax: 01223 214052

Email: info@cambridge-water.co.uk

Response to complaints

We will endeavour to reply to written complaints, and when necessary to telephone complaints, within five working days. If we need to visit your property first, we will inform you of this and reply in full within 20 working days. The Government requires all water companies to respond within 10 working days of receiving your written complaint. If we fail to do this you may be eligible to receive a payment under the terms of our Guaranteed Standards Scheme.

Stage 2: If you are not happy with the reply

We hope that you will always be satisfied with our response. If you are not, please write to our Customer Services Manager at the above address. It is our aim to respond to all Stage 2 complaints within five working days. If we need to visit your property first, we will inform you of this and reply in full within 20 working days.

Stage 3: Independent review

If you are dissatisfied with the way your complaint has been dealt with you may request an independent review from the Consumer Council for Water (CCWater).

Consumer Council for Water, Ground Floor, Henry Giles House, 73-79 Chesterton Road, Cambridge CB4 3BQ.

Tel: 01223 323889

Email via their website

www.ccwater.org.uk

The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is a non-departmental public body representing consumers of water and wastewater services in England and Wales. CCWater will tell you how they will take the matter forward and what further resolution, if any, you can expect.

Stage 4: Alternative Dispute Resolution

If you remain dissatisfied following CCWater’s efforts to resolve your complaint, you may be eligible to refer it to the Water Redress Scheme known as WATRS.

WATRS is an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme to help resolve the very small number of customer complaints where the customer remains dissatisfied after the company procedure and CCWater involvement. WATRS provides an alternative to going to Court or a Tribunal.

WATRS decision is binding on the water company.

Following notification from CCWater you can make an application, free of charge, via WATRS website www.watrs.org or you can email info@watrs.org to ask for an application form to be sent to you.

Guidance notes are also available on the website or you can request that a copy be sent to you by telephoning 0207 520 3801.

WATRS

Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution

International Dispute Resolution Centre

70 Fleet Street

London

EC4Y 1EU

We have signed up to the scheme's commitments, which are set out below.

A full copy of the Scheme Rules can be found here www.watrs.org/commitments.

  1. Commitment to provide WATRS free of charge to customers
  2. Commitment to support the principles set out in the ADR Specification
  3. Commitment to respect the independence of WATRS
  4. Commitment to be bound by decision of the WATRS’ adjudicator if accepted by customer and to implement decision as required by Scheme Rules
  5. Commitment to co-operate with and have due regard to the recommendations of the ADR Panel
  6. Commitment to provide accurate and reliable information to and co-operate with the WATRS’ adjudicators

Ofwat

Ofwat is the Government department responsible for making sure that the water industry in England and Wales provides customers with a good quality product and efficient service at a fair price.

Ofwat also deal with some cases, examples of these include:

  • Those about water and sewerage companies’ powers to lay pipes on private land
  • Concerns that the water companies are allegedly breaking their licence conditions or their main water supply or sewerage duties
  • Complaints about anti-competitive behaviour under the Competition Act 1998, for example colluding on pricing or bidding for contracts

For more information visit www.ofwat.gov.uk

Further help and advice

You can contact a solicitor or get free advice from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau, consumer advice centre, local authority trading standards or consumer protection department. You’ll find contact details in your local telephone directory, or you can ask at your town hall or local authority offices.

None of the above affects your rights to instigate legal proceedings for any loss or damage caused to you by our failure to comply with our duties under the Water Industry Act.

Complaints made by third parties

If you wish to make a complaint to Cambridge Water on behalf of someone else, for example a friend, relative or a client, we will handle the complaint to the best of our ability. Under the Data Protection Act, we will only be able to provide you with personal details about a customer's account if we have permission from the account holder.

We act on your complaints

All your complaints are logged and reviewed regularly by the directors and senior management of the company. They review the speed and response and the pattern of complaints to plan where improvements need to be made to our service to you.

The Consumer Council for Water Eastern will audit a number of your written complaints and provide recommendations for improvements where appropriate. Cambridge Water values their feedback and acts on their recommendations.

This procedure is the result of consultation with and approval from Ofwat. A copy of our complaints procedure is included with all written complaint replies. We will always provide a full explanation and an apology where appropriate. Where the company is at fault we will explain what has happened, automatically consider compensation and pay it where appropriate. Immediate action will be taken to put things right where possible.

This procedure is the result of consultation with and approval from the Water Services Regulation Authority. A copy of this complaints procedure is included with all written replies.

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Our complaints procedure
When we receive a complaint, we have set in place a procedure that will ensure that your complaint is handled by the most appropriate person.