Media release

Water Complaints Scheme established by Watercare and Utilities Disputes


16 February 2018

The disputes resolution service for utility companies will now take public enquiries and complaints about water in the Auckland region.

Utilities Disputes’ new Water Complaints Scheme gives Watercare customers access to the free and independent service when they have issues that have not been resolved to their satisfaction.

Utilities Disputes Board Chair Heather Roy says Watercare has led the way to the creation of the water complaints scheme.

“Water provision is a critical utility service for New Zealanders, and we are delighted to welcome Watercare and its customers. Expanding our current services – from gas, electricity and broadband property access – to include water is a logical step. The Utilities Disputes team will draw on 16 years’ experience to provide a quality Water Complaints Scheme, which is free, independent and fair.”

The complaints process will be the same as for other utilities – if customers have a water complaint, the first step is to contact Watercare, who will try to resolve it.

Watercare Chief Executive, Raveen Jaduram says “Here at Watercare we work very hard to answer our customers’ queries and satisfy any complaints, but sometimes disputes aren’t easily resolved. This new service means customers have free access to an independent referee when all other avenues have been explored. The other benefit for us is that the Utilities Disputes team will then give us feedback to help us improve.”

Not all disputes will be considered by the service. “While we can look at a broad range of complaints about water services, there are some restrictions,” says Utilities Disputes Commissioner Nanette Moreau. “For example, we can’t investigate complaints about the price of water, but we can look at whether the water bill has been calculated accurately, and whether the customer is on the right plan.”

“We look forward to working with Watercare and their customers,” says Ms Moreau. “Joining the Water Complaints Scheme is voluntary, and we hope to welcome other water providers from across New Zealand in the near future.” 

 

Utilities Disputes Media contact: Zoe Priestley z.priestley@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz

Contact Utilities Disputes: 0800 22 33 47 info@utilitiesdisputes.co.nz