Water customers in London could be seeing higher compensation payments after Thames Water announced “enhancements” to its Customer Guarantee Scheme (CGS) which will see the firm pay £50 for missed appointments.
Thames says the changes are part of a “concerted effort” to “sharpen up its act”. Payments for failing to respond to billing enquiries within the allotted time will go up from £20 to £30 and a new £30 payment to customers issued with ‘boil notices’ (advice to boil drinking water following supply contamination) has also been introduced.
Mike Tempest, Thames Water’s director of Customer Service, said: “We never intend to let anyone down, but we recognise that if we do it can be a serious problem for customers and we should compensate them adequately. I know how upsetting and annoying it is to take time off work to wait in for a delivery or a service. For this reason, when we miss an appointment we will pay our customer £50 – more than any other water, telephone, gas or electricity supplier.”
The company says it will backdate all payments to April 2008.
The changes have been welcomed by the Consumer Council for Water’s Thames region. David Bland said the company had approached his organisation “with a real commitment to improving customer service, and the public perception of the company.”
“Failures of service to individual customers cause great inconvenience, and it is good to see the company voluntarily increasing the compensation that is given to customers who are let down in a range of irritating small ways. The company will save money on these payments in proportion to the improvements in customer service that cut down the occurrence of such incidents, so this promises to be a ‘win:win’ for us all.”