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Ofwat does not generally deal with individual consumer complaints or enquiries. If you do have a complaint about the provision of water and/or sewerage services that you are receiving from your water and/or sewerage company, you should follow the process below.

1. Contact your company

If you have a complaint, you should first contact your local water and sewerage company. This gives them the chance to put things right. It also ensures that the company is aware of the problem you are experiencing. Find your companies' contact details. Details of how to contact your company are also shown on the back of your bill.

Your company should deal with your complaint using its complaints procedure. This explains the process the company will follow in handling your complaint. Complaint procedures are approved by us. You can ask your company for a free copy of its complaints procedure.

2. If you are not satisfied with your company’s response

If you are not satisfied with the initial response from the company’s staff, you should tell the company. Someone more senior in the company who has not previously been involved with your complaint will consider your dissatisfaction and reply.

3. Ask the Consumer Council for Water to investigate

If you are still not happy with the response you get from the company you can ask the Consumer Council for Water to investigate. Their services are free.

The Consumer Council for Water is the independent organisation that represents customers’ interests and is responsible for dealing with customer complaints and enquiries.

You will need to tell the Consumer Council for Water why you are not happy with the company’s response and how you want the matter resolved. If possible, send copies of any papers relating to your complaint.

The Consumer Council for Water will not normally deal with your complaint until the water company has first had an opportunity to resolve it.


You can find out how to contact the Consumer Council for Water by visiting their website at http://www.ccwater.org.uk/.

Following consultation with us, the Consumer Council for Water will advise you if your complaint is one that should be formally referred to us for resolution.

You can find out more details about these specific areas in the section that covers areas we investigate.

4. Refer your complaint to WATRS for independent dispute resolution

If you remain dissatisfied following CCWater’s efforts to resolve your complaint, from 1 April 2015 you have the right to refer your complaint to the Water Redress Scheme known as WATRS.

WATRS is a voluntary alternative dispute resolution scheme to help address the very small number of customer complaints that remain unresolved.  WATRS is designed to provide an independent, impartial and easy to use alternative to going to Court or a Tribunal.

You can make an application, free of charge, via WATRS website www.watrs.org or you can ask for an application form to be sent to you info@watrs.org. Guidance notes are available on the website or you can ask for a copy to be sent to you by telephoning 0207 520 3801. Their address

Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution
International Dispute Resolution Centre
70 Fleet Street

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