Our recommendations

Watercare Services Limited: Review of service performance.

We recommend that Watercare Services Limited:

  1. better explain to customers the reasons for increases to water or wastewater tariffs;
  2. improve the accuracy of how it reports its service performance by:
    • reporting the number of customers who are satisfied with its performance levels, rather than reporting average customer scores;
    • reporting actual performance, where appropriate, rather than reporting the percentage of a target achieved;
    • increasing the size and nature of the sample for its customer satisfaction surveys; and
    • reviewing its water affordability measure to keep the measure relevant and meaningful;
  3. revise its invoice form to clearly and accurately state the date from which late payment penalties apply;
  4. amend its customer contract to correctly reflect the process and frequency for estimating meter readings and tell customers how they can request an invoice based on an actual reading;
  5. prepare a Code of Practice for dealing with customer debt, setting out its approach to debt recovery and customers' rights and obligations;
  6. update its water restriction policy and practice such that the policy reflects current practice and specifically requires Watercare managers to confirm that any water restriction meets the requirements of the Local Government Act 2002 and the Health Act 1956.