Appendix 4: Customer complaint handling and redress


We have a Customer Complaints policy which defines what a complaint is. Both bill paying customers and all consumers can make a complaint. We have detailed procedures to support this policy.

We collect complaint data for both internal and external stakeholders to review and analyse. We report trends and statistics on key categories of complaints to the Minister at least once a year. Data is also available for yearly audits.

We collect complaints in various systems, depending on the complaint and the processes necessary to resolve it in a fair and reasonable manner. The following systems are used to collect and report customer complaints:

  • MAXIMO – this system is used by the Contact Centre to log service faults. Some service faults are reported as complaints (eg water quality and odour).

  • The Customer Management System (CMS) – this is the main system used to manage complaints across Sydney Water.

  • ACCESS – this is our billing system and is used to log and report complaints that relate to meter adjustments (eg meter misreads).

External dispute resolution scheme

We are a member of the Energy and Water Ombudsman of NSW (EWON). Customers who are not happy with the outcome of a complaint may choose to refer the matter to EWON for review. This is a free service to Sydney Water customers.


In line with Clause 7.2, 7.3 and 7.4 of the Customer Contract, we will provide customers with a rebate when:

  • a planned interruption of the water and/or wastewater services lasts longer than five hours

  • an unplanned interruption of the water and/or wastewater services lasts longer than five hours and we have not provided the notice required under clause 3.4.3 of the Customer Contract

  • a low water pressure incident which is below 15 metres head of pressure at the point of connection for greater than 15 minutes

  • a wastewater overflow happens

  • dirty water not suitable for normal domestic use is supplied

  • a boil water alert happens

  • two or more wastewater service disruptions or internal wastewater overflows happen in a 12-month period due to capacity constraints in our system

  • three or more unplanned water service interruptions of over one hour happen in a 12-month period.

Under the Operating Licence 2010–15, we increased the minimum rebate amounts and added a new rebate for recurring unplanned water interruptions.

Depending on a customer’s particular problem we may provide redress by one or more of the following (clause 7.5):

  • reinstatement

  • repair

  • rectification

  • construction of works

  • alternate supplies of water

  • emergency accommodation

  • payment for damages as set out in clause 7.6 of the Customer Contract

  • a rebate.