When selecting your business water retailer, you need to be sure they’re working for you and that they can support your business for years to come. To help you find the right retailer, consider asking the following questions to ensure your provider is focussed on your business interests.
Can your customer service meet my needs?
Every water retailer should be able to provide you with detailed statistics regarding their customer service levels. Average call answering times will give a good indication how responsive their customer service is and whether they use an unnecessarily long automated system. Independent third-party review sites, such as Trustpilot, can also give a good indication of the overall satisfaction levels amongst their customers.
How can you help me reduce my water consumption?
Your water retailer should be actively helping your business to reduce its water consumption and cut its water costs. There are a wide range of practical and often simple ways that businesses of all sizes can reduce their water usage, such as:
• A water efficiency programme can pinpoint areas where consumption can be reduced
• Rainwater harvesting can provide another source of water for selected use around your business
• Water efficient toilets and taps can be installed to save money over time
• Automatic meter reading can give a real-time view on usage to highlight leaks and/or overuse.
How can I be sure your bills are accurate?
Ask your retailer how they calculate your bill and how often they read water meters. Find out if you can submit your own meter readings to make your bill more accurate. For wastewater and trade effluent customers, ask your retailer to provide a detailed breakdown of all the aspects of their bill. These bills can be complex, so make sure your retailer has a good understanding of all the elements to produce an accurate bill.
Will your company still be around in a few years?
Since January 2018, 13 UK utility providers have gone bust, affecting over 700,000 customers. You are entitled to know whether your water retailer has the financial stability to be able to support your business for years to come. What is their market share? What were their profit and loss figures last year? What is their credit score? The answers to all these questions can help you determine the stability and longevity of a water retailer.
How do I know I’m getting the best deal with you?
Perhaps the most important question. Ask your retailer what they’re doing to make sure they’re getting the best deal for you. Ask about their track record, pricing structure and what they do to provide discounts for their customers. Some water retailers are tied to the wholesaler in their area, meaning they’re less likely challenge the wholesaler about unfair pricing. Independent retailers, with no links to wholesalers, can often be more robust in the defence of their customers.
Can you tell me about the laws I have to comply with?
Water and wastewater management can include legal compliance that needs to be adhered to. Your water retailer should have a detailed understanding of all the necessary paperwork that needs to be completed for your business to be compliant. Ask your water retailer what consent your business needs for its water and wastewater uses. Your retailer should also be able to tell you what allowances your company is eligible to apply for relating to drainage, leaks, trade effluent, etc.
The water market is open for your business to shop around for the best deal and the best service. The right water retailer for your business is one that can help you reduce water consumption, cut costs and provide responsive, knowledgeable customer service.