Customer satisfaction with service delivery remained high and there was a significant reduction in the number of customer complaints.
Indicator: Average rating of the overall quality of service delivered, measured through customer surveys
Sydney Water measures its quality of service through the yearly Customer Relationship Survey. Over 1,100 customers were interviewed for this survey in 2010. Some were contacted at random and others had recently interacted with Sydney Water staff either about a service fault or with a general enquiry.
Customers were asked: ‘Taking into account all aspects of what they do, how do you rate the overall quality of service delivered by Sydney Water?’. They were asked to allocate a score ranging from zero (‘extremely poor’) to 10 (‘excellent’). The results showed that customers have a positive view of the overall quality of Sydney Water’s service, with an average satisfaction rating of 7.3. This is the same result as that of the previous year.
Average customer rating of the overall quality of service
Indicator: Total number and the number per 1,000 properties of complaints received
During 2009–10, Sydney Water’s Customer Contact Centre received more than 852,000 calls. Of these, only 8,755 were complaints. This was about 29% less than in the previous year and equals 4.94 complaints per 1,000 properties.
The decrease in complaints was mainly due to continued improved performance by Sydney Water’s meter reading contractor. For further details, please refer to the indicator below (Complaints about account payments, billing errors or overcharging).
The total number of complaints includes complaints made to the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON). If a customer is dissatisfied with Sydney Water’s proposed solution or the action taken to resolve a complaint, they may contact EWON. EWON has an independent and alternative means to review customer complaints.
Total number and the number per 1,000 properties of complaints received
Indicator: Total number and number per 1,000 properties of complaints relating to account payments, billing errors or overcharging
Billing complaints generally relate to estimations or errors in meter reading, payment details, water usage and service charges.
During 2009–10, Sydney Water received 3,976 billing complaints (45% of total complaints), which equals 2.24 complaints per 1,000 properties. This is a 46% reduction from 2008–09.
There were fewer complaints in 2009–10 largely because the company contracted to read meters continued to improve its performance. When the new contract began on 1 October 2007, a high turnover of meter readers led to an increase in reading errors and adjustments in 2007–08 and 2008–09.
Total number and number per 1,000 properties of billing complaints
Indicator: Percentage of complaints received that are resolved within 10 days
Sydney Water aims to resolve customer enquiries and complaints quickly, efficiently and to the customer’s satisfaction.
In 2009–10, 86.3% of complaints were resolved within 10 days, compared to 91% in 2008–09. Sydney Water is developing a new customer management system to more accurately capture complaints and report on how they are managed. This is expected to go live in early 2011.
Percentage of complaints received by Sydney Water that are resolved within 10 days 2003–04 to 2009–10
Note: Complaints to the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW are not lodged with Sydney Water and are therefore not included in this indicator.