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Complaints procedure

Emergency complaints

If you wish to complain about an emergency such as concerns about water quality, loss of water supply or sewer flooding, please contact your service provider using the contact details available on our website at castlewater.co.uk/emergencies. Between 8 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday you can obtain this information by calling 01250 718700. Alternatively, we can transfer you through to your service provider.

Complaints

Castle Water is committed to providing the highest level of customer care and this includes an effective process for handling complaints. If you are concerned about something, let us know so we can put things right. The easiest and quickest way to do this is over the phone or via web chat. Complaints received by telephone and web chat will be dealt with immediately wherever possible.

Please note that if we have initiated the process to recover costs through legal channels, any concerns you may have should be addressed directly to our recoveries team at recoveries@castlewater.co.uk. Such concerns will not be treated as a complaint.

  • By telephone: 01250 718700
  • By web chat: www.castlewater.co.uk/contact
  • For Key Accounts and Trade Effluent call: 01250 718718

Alternatively, complaints can be made in writing;

  • Via the customer portal using the “Raise a Complaint” button below

Stage 1

We will investigate and may call you to discuss your complaint. We will propose a resolution or give a substantive update on the progress of resolving the issue, as sometimes a resolution may require us to liaise with other organisations. (for example, if we need to contact the Wholesaler), we will let you know what needs to happen next and keep you updated.

In responding we will:

  • Address all the points you raised in your complaint and provide a clear explanation
  • Apologise and explain what remedial action we have taken if we have fallen short
  • Consider whether we can offer compensation where remedial action is not possible or is insufficient

In line with guidelines, for England customers we aim to provide a full response within 10 business days of receipt of your complaint, but if this isn’t possible or if resolution takes longer, we will explain why and provide regular updates and if appropriate, we may place your account on hold. For Scotland customers, we aim to provide a full response within 8 business days.

If the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, then you may proceed to the next stage. Please note that if you do not reply to our response to your complaint within 30 days, we may treat any appeal as a new complaint.

Stage 2

Following Stage 1, if the complaint has not been resolved to your satisfaction, you can appeal our decision. If possible, please set out your appeal in writing via your complaint case and send it to us using the contact details below. This helps us to ensure that we have properly understood the details of your complaint and appeal. Your appeal will be considered by Castle Water’s Executive Complaints Team who will undertake an independent internal review and will aim to reach a resolution within 10 business days, but if this isn’t possible or if resolution takes longer, we will explain why and provide regular updates. If appropriate, we will place your account on hold.

If the complaint has still not been resolved to your satisfaction, then you may proceed to the next stage. Please note that if you do not reply to our response to your complaint within 30 days, your appeal may be treated as a new complaint.

Beyond Stage 2

If you have completed Stages 1 and 2 of this procedure and are not satisfied with our response you can ask our CEO to review your complaint by emailing details of your concerns to ceo@castlewater.co.uk. Please include a short summary of the complaint and why you are unhappy with the outcome of the complaints process, and he will carry out a review.

Alternatively, you can take the matter to an independent body who will consider your complaint and may be able to mediate or investigate. If you have not escalated your complaint via our formal complaints procedure outlined in Stages 1 and 2, your complaint will not be considered and will be referred back to us. Please note that there is no ombudsman for non-household water customers in England.

Complaints relating to services in England

The ADR Group run an independent redress scheme and can provide an independent decision, subject to the rules of the scheme and being eligible for referral to ADRg.

Website: www.consumer-dispute.co.uk

By email: consumer-dispute@adrgroup.co.uk

In writing: ADR Group, 1st Floor, 83 High Street, Rayleigh, Essex SS6 7EJ

The Consumer Council for Water (CCW) is the independent representative of water customers in England & Wales.

By email: enquiries@ccwater.org.uk

In writing: The Consumer Council for Water, 23 Stephenson Street, Birmingham, B2 4BH

Website: www.ccwater.org.uk

By telephone: 0300 034 2222

Any referrals to the ADR Group must be made within three (3) months of the notification of the outcome of Stage 2 or the final response from CCW if you contact them first.

The ADRg scheme can be used to settle disputes relating to:

  • Current customers of Castle Water
  • Provision of retail water and wastewater services pursuant to the applicable Scheme of Terms & Conditions (other than matters excluded below)
  • Customer services
  • Bills, payments, collections, and debt recovery
  • Meter reading
  • Mis-selling

Castle Water may agree to refer other issues which are outside those included in the Scheme at its discretion. In such circumstances (including in relation to any complaints by former customers of Castle Water), additional charges to use the Scheme may apply and would have to be agreed between the customer and Castle Water prior to the acceptance of such an application by the Scheme.

The ADRg Scheme cannot be used to adjudicate disputes which fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Claims for compensation relating to negligence or damage caused by an undertaker
  • Claims relating to breach of a statutory duty by an undertaker
  • Disputes that are subject to existing court action, or Castle Water has commenced court proceedings, or on which a court has ruled unless the court’s decision has been set aside
  • Disputes relating to complex matters of law
  • Disputes relating to decisions by Ofwat, or challenges to existing legislation or regulation
  • Disputes concerning the Competition Acts 1998 and 2002 as amended
  • Regulatory enforcement cases
  • Bulk supply determinations and resale and third-party complaints
  • Any matters over which Ofwat has powers to determine an outcome, including disputes relating to eligibility to transfer to a statutory licensee
  • Water quality legal standards
  • Enforcement cases under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Environmental Act 1995 as amended
  • Disputes that are the subject of an existing or previous valid application under the scheme
  • The handling of CCWater and Ofwat complaints
  • Disputes relating to the fairness of contract terms and/or commercial practices
  • Disputes concerning allegations of fraudulent or criminal activity
  • Any dispute or disputes that are considered by the ADR provider to be frivolous and/or vexatious

Complaints relating to services in Scotland

Contact the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). The SPSO is the final stage for complaints about Castle Water and their service is independent, free, and confidential.

  • In writing: FREEPOST SPSO (This is all you need to write on the envelope, and you don’t need to use a stamp)
  • Online contact form: www.spso.org.uk/complain/form
  • By telephone: 0800 377 7330 or 0131 225 5300

The SPSO will normally not look at complaints relating to issues you have known about for more than 12 months, or that have been or are being considered in court.