Monday 7th October 2019 12:00
More than 100,000 Thames Water customers are now getting money off their bills as part of a drive to help those living in vulnerable circumstances.
The company has released the figures on the first day of this year’s National Customer Service Week (7-11 Oct).
People experiencing financial difficulties can apply to be put on the WaterSure Plus social tariff which will see their bills reduced by 50 per cent.
A push to make more people aware of this tariff saw the six-figure milestone reached this month, putting Thames Water well ahead of its initial target to be supporting 85,000 customers by April next year.
The 100,000th customer, who lives in Hackney, will now see her bill halved which she says will make life considerably easier.
She said: “Getting this discount is great news and will really help a lot when it comes to paying bills.”
The customer is a local authority tenant and had previously been paying a fixed amount to her housing association each month for water.
However, Thames Water recently made the decision to start working directly with council tenants to build a more personal relationship and find out what help it could provide. As a result, many are now on the social tariff so are getting money off their bill.
Kelly Macfarlane, Thames Water’s customer experience director, said: “We’re in regular contact with our customers to understand their priorities, and most of them tell us they want to see more support offered to those in vulnerable circumstances.
“Thames Water serves some of the most deprived communities in the country so it’s vital we do what we can to help those customers struggling, often through no fault of their own.
“I’m extremely proud of the fact we’re now supporting so many families in our region with their bills and we’re committed to accelerating this number further in the years to come.”
Within its business plan for 2020-25, Thames Water will work to ensure 200,000 customers experiencing financial difficulties are receiving help with their bills.
On top of this, the UK’s largest water company has committed to getting 410,000 people on its priority services register by 2025.
This means they will receive personalised support to meet service to help with their needs such as having bottled water delivered to their home should there be a supply interruption.
To find out more about the social tariff and how to sign up to the priority services register visit www.thameswater.co.uk/my-account/billing-and-payment/help-paying-your-bill