Parliamentary Candidate Zöe Franklin says "glaring flaw" in new Thames Water Customer Care Sanctions.

19 Feb 2024
ZF outside Ladymead Treatment Works

The regulator has new powers to fine a water company up to 10% of its turnover if it breaches a new licence condition insisting good standards of customer service are delivered. 

Zöe Franklin said: “Good customer service should be the focus of the water industry, but we know Thames Water doesn’t do a good enough job.  

“On the face of it, fining Thames Water for its customer service failures sounds like it could a be good incentive for the company to up its game. But the glaring flaw is that when things go wrong, the fines will go to the Treasury, and not to the customers who’ve been let down. 

“This sounds like tough talk, but it’s no more than a gimmick. It is an insult to customers.” 

Throughout recent months, households across the Guildford area have been affected by poor water pressure or water outages. Ms Franklin supported many residents as they struggled to find information and needed help with emergency supplies. 

Ms Franklin continued: “Not only was Thames Water’s customer service again badly lacking during the incident, but I also couldn’t believe how inconsistent and unsatisfactory it was after supplies were eventually restored. In just one street, residents told me some had received compensation of around £200, while some neighbours were given nothing. There were other examples of this in other parts of Guildford. 

“The Conservative Government has stood back as the privatised water companies make huge profits at our expense, while we do not get the service we pay so much for.  We should get the service we deserve, but when things do go wrong, these fines should go into the pockets of the consumers who have been failed, not line the Treasury’s pockets.”