Business Charter. Our promise and guarantees to you

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1 Business Charter Our promise and guarantees to you

2 About our Business Charter We re committed to providing the highest quality services and by law we must meet certain standards. This leaflet explains our promises and guarantees to you. The Charter outlines the length of time we ll take to respond and review contacts and how much we ll pay when we fail to meet our standards to our business customers. We have a separate Customer Charter for household customers, please get in touch if you would like a copy. Contents Customer contacts 4 Inconvenience 4 Appointments 5 Water quality 5 Pressure 6 Planned work 6 Emergency (unplanned) work 7 Frozen pipework 7 Sewer flooding 8 Leaks 9 New supplies 9 Water shortages 9 We re always here to help you 10 Offering business customers more choice 14 Would you like more information about our Business Charter? Our Business Charter is subject to terms and conditions. Please contact us if you d like written details. Some of the information in this leaflet may not apply if you receive a service from another water company. Please contact us if you re in doubt. 2

3 This information is summarised using the following keys: We ll respond within: This indicates the number of hours, working days or months we ll respond within if we fail to meet our standards. 0 1 We ll if we fail: This indicates the amount we ll if we fail to meet our standards. Reductions in your annual water or sewerage charges: -25% or - 25 Water charges -50% or - 75 Sewerage charges whichever is greater your payments will be made: We make some payments automatically (A) and you need to claim others (C) within three months of the event. Some payments will usually be made by cheque or sometimes we may credit your account. We ll make the payment as soon as we ve confirmed your entitlement. 3

4 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3. customer contacts We ll respond to any written complaints. When we ll respond to you much we ll we ll We ll respond to other written water and waste water contacts* excluding contacts relating to Developer Services activities and insurance claims. We ll respond to any contacts about accounts, bills and payments.* We ll process your cheque payment, if sent through the post to us. We ll refund payments made to us in error or credit balances if you ask us.* If we take a Direct Debit payment in error, we ll reimburse any costs you incur, including bank charges and interest attributable to our error.* We ll respond to any Helping Hands enquiries about our services for customers with additional needs, and process applications for these services.* If we wrongly issue a county court claim or wrongly obtain a County Court Judgement against you (on identifying that an error has occurred). If we wrongly register a default against you with a Credit Reference Agency....inconvenience We re working hard to minimise the inconvenience caused by our water and waste water activities. We ll consider claims for compensation on an individual basis for unnecessary disruption or uninsured losses or damage arising as a result of our activities. We ll give you advance notice, if our planned works will restrict access to your property. We ll consider claims for compensation on an individual basis if our unplanned (emergency) works restrict access to your property, and you re inconvenienced. We ll consider claims for compensation on an individual basis for any inconvenience arising because of an error that we ve made in relation to your bill or your payments. 4

5 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3. appointments (visits) When we ll respond to you much we ll we ll We operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We ll respond as quickly as we can if you report an emergency. An appointment is not usually appropriate in these circumstances. Where we need to visit your premises we ll agree an appointment in the morning, the afternoon or within a two-hour time band. If required, we may agree an evening appointment between 4pm and 8pm. If we fail to tell you that your appointment is for the morning, afternoon, evening or within a specific two-hour time band.* We ll attend any appointment that we ve agreed with you on time.* We ll give you 24 hours notice to cancel any agreed appointment.* We ll only ask you to reschedule any agreed appointment once....water quality If we re responsible for persistent water quality problems. -30% After reporting illness due to a water quality problem we ll advise you of what action we propose to take. Where you ve reported illness due to a water quality problem, we ll contact you by telephone after we ve collected the sample and inform you of your initial test results relating to micro-biological water quality. For all water quality samples, we ll provide the results in writing (other than regulatory sampling). Please allow us 20 working days to receive and validate the results of the sample test. We ll credit your metered account if you have to run off excessive amounts of water to clear discolouration maximum (Minimum) * Payment will be made within 10 working days. If we fail to make a payment within this time you re entitled to claim a penalty payment of 20. We ll also consider claims for losses or damage that your own insurance does not cover. 5

6 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3....pressure Following an investigation, if the pressure in our communication pipe to your property falls below seven metres static head on two occasions, each of not less than one hour, within a 28-day period, we ll reduce your annual water charges. We ll make only one such payment per annum.* If we regularly inconvenience you due to extreme high or low pressure, we ll reduce your annual water charges. You may claim only one such payment per annum. When we ll respond to you much we ll -25% or - 25 whichever is greater 1000 maximum -25% or - 25 whichever is greater 1000 maximum we ll...planned work We ll warn you, giving 24 hours notice if we plan to interrupt your water supply for between 30 minutes and four hours. We ll warn you, giving 48 hours notice, if we plan to interrupt your water supply for more than four hours.** Where we ve warned you in advance, we ll restore your supply by the time stated.** We ll provide alternative supplies for any interruption for more than five hours. For planned work, we ll not interrupt your supply for more than 12 hours on any occasion for every subsequent 24hr period 6

7 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3. When we ll respond to you...emergency (unplanned) work much we ll we ll For emergency work, we ll restore your supply within 12 hours or in the case of a strategic main, 48 hours.** If we interrupt your supply to carry out emergency work on three or more occasions totalling over 15 hours within a 12-month period. We ll provide alternative supplies for any interruption for more than five hours for every subsequent 24hr period -10% 1000 maximum...frozen pipework If the cause of the interruption is due to our frozen asset, we ll consider claims based on the length of time your supply is interrupted. We ll provide alternative supplies for any interruption for more than five hours. If you need a constant supply of water or delivery of bottled water due to a medical condition or another similar reason, we ll provide assistance on request. * Payment will be made within 10 working days. If we fail to make a payment within this time you re entitled to claim a penalty payment of 20. Claims must be made within three months. ** Payment will be made within 20 working days. If we fail to make a payment within this time we ll an additional 50 automatically. We ll also consider claims for losses or damage that your own insurance does not cover. 7

8 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3....sewer flooding When we ll respond to you much we ll we ll If flooding from a public sewer enters your property.** -100% or If flooding from a public sewer enters only your land you may claim for each incident in the year. You can t claim a payment for sewer flooding to your land, if you are entitled to an automatic payment for sewer flooding to your property for the same incident. Additionally, your claim for a payment for sewer flooding to your land will only be valid if you were materially affected by the incident. You need therefore to show or explain the affect of the sewer flooding on your land, when you make your claim. We understand how upsetting it can be if flooding from a public sewer enters your property. We ll therefore help to clean up and disinfect, and we can also provide hygiene advice, so please contact us without delay. We ll contact you within two hours of receiving your telephone call reporting an internal flooding incident and we ll advise you of what action we propose to take. If flooding from a public sewer enters your property, we ll visit you on the same day (where practical) and provide advice and an information leaflet. We ll also update you on our investigations into the problem and any intended future action. whichever is greater 1500 maximum 1500 maximum * Payment will be made within 10 working days. If we fail to make a payment within this time you re entitled to claim a penalty payment of 20. ** Payment will be made within 20 working days. If we fail to make a payment within this time we ll an additional 50 automatically. We ll also consider claims for losses or damage that your own insurance does not cover. 8

9 Our promise to you... For further details regarding icons in the table below, please refer to the key on page 3. When we ll respond to you much we ll we ll...leaks If you think you ve got a leak and might be losing water, we ve got a practical guide to water consumption so you can see whether you re using it or losing it. Visit yorkshirewater.com/leakcheck We ll repair, within two days, any major leaks on our water mains that have been reported by a customer and are our responsibility. We ll repair other minor reported leaks on our system within seven days. Where we do not meet these timescales, due to factors within our control and where you are inconvenienced or incur uninsured losses, we ll consider claims for compensation. If your property is flooded as a result of a burst water main, we ll make arrangements to clean up afterwards. We ll also consider claims for damage, inconvenience, uninsured losses and other out of pocket expenses. We grant allowances, where you re eligible, against meter charges, which have accrued due to leakage....new supplies We ll send you written acknowledgement of your application for a new supply. We ll provide you with a quotation or estimate for a new supply connection. We ll make new connections and ensure compliance with the Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999 on receipt of your checklist stating you re ready for us to make the connection. It may be longer if we need to apply for a road closure or traffic management. We ll carry out a lead-for-lead renewal, replacing any lead pipework that is our responsibility if you ve replaced yours. After receiving your application...water shortages If we have to interrupt or cut off your supply because of a drought, we ll automatically.* 50 per day or part of a day during which we ve interrupted your supply, to a maximum of our average domestic water charge in the previous year 9

10 Our customer complaints procedure What can I do if I m not happy? We aim to provide a high standard of service and to treat you with courtesy and fairness at all times. We welcome any comments you may have, and we try to answer queries and resolve complaints quickly and in full. Please contact us as soon as possible if you re not satisfied with our service. We ll then investigate your complaint and try to resolve it to your satisfaction. Where your complaint is justified, we ll apologise and do everything we can to put things right as soon as possible. What if we fail to meet our standards? Step 1: Our Customer Charter If we fail to meet any of our standards, we ll compensation in line with our Customer Charter. We ll consider claims for compensation in respect of any loss or damage that we cause. 10

11 Similarly, if we ve caused you particular hardship or inconvenience you can claim for compensation and we ll take into account your circumstances when settling your claim. If you wish to make a claim, please call us on or visit yorkshirewater.com/policies Step 2: Formal review of your complaint If you re not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint or claim, or the way we ve handled it, you can request for our Head of Customer Service to carry out a formal review. Please contact us, explaining why you remain dissatisfied and what action you would like us to take. The review may result in the original decision being overturned. We ll let you know the outcome of our review within seven working days. If we fail to do this, we ll give you an automatic payment under our Customer Charter. Step 3: Independent review by CCWater If you re still unhappy with the outcome of your complaint or claim, you may request an independent review: Visit the CCWater website Call CCWater on Write to CCWater at Consumer Council for Water Second Floor Bondgate House 90 Bondgate Darlington DL3 7JY 11

12 The Consumer Council for Water (CCWater) is an independent national body set up to protect your interests and to champion customer issues. CCWater ensures that the customers collective voice is heard in the national water debate and has undertaken research to understand customers views and use this to influence decision makers within the industry. CCWater will investigate customer complaints relating to our business activities. The regional office may then act on your behalf to try to resolve your complaint with us. Under the Water Industry Act 1991, the industry regulator, Ofwat, or an independent arbitrator may settle certain disputes. Where this is appropriate, we ll explain the action you can take or you may prefer to seek advice from CCWater or another independent advice agency. If CCWater asks us to withhold debt recovery action whilst looking into you complaint, we ll agree to do so. 12

13 Step 4: Independent review by the Water Industry Redress Scheme If you re unhappy with the review from CCWater, you have the right to refer your case to the Water Industry Redress Scheme (WATRS). If you would like to learn more about WATRS or make an application: Visit the WATRS website Call WATRS on Write to WATRS at WATRS International Dispute Resolution Centre 70 Fleet Street London EC4Y 1EU WATRS are neutral arbitrators who will look at your case independently of Yorkshire Water and CCWater to try and reach a fair decision. This service is free to our customers. 13

14 Offering business customers more choice There s nothing you need to do at the moment, but from 1 April 2017 all non-household customers will be able to choose who they buy their retail water and sewerage services from. This includes all business (big and small), schools, hospitals, charities, government and councils. Behind the change is the Government s Water Act, which aims to introduce more competition into the water industry in England. it works now At the moment, almost all businesses in our region get their water and sewerage services from us. We also provide them with customer service, making us responsible for both wholesale and retail services. Wholesale services include: Water supply Removal and treatment of sewerage Retail services include: Meter reading Billing Customer queries and complaints Currently, large or multi-site businesses in our region who use over 5 million litres of water a year can already choose who supplies them with water only services. Who are water retailers? Not just anyone can become a water retailer. Retailers are companies that have been granted a licence by the water regulator, Ofwat, to provide retail services to non-household customers. it will work from April 2017 For the first time in England, the Government s Water Act plans to let all businesses choose who supplies their retail water, sewerage and trade effluent services. Even though this is a change, it will be regulated by the water industry regulator, Ofwat. 14

15 Having a choice will mean you ll be able to consider the best services for your business, which could include things like: Different levels of customer support Tailored packages Water efficiency advice What happens next? At the moment there s nothing you need to do. As you re already a customer of ours, we hope you re happy with the service we provide and you don t feel the need to change your supplier. Our business services team will send you more information over the coming months to explain what the changes will mean to you and your business. When you can choose your retail service provider in 2017, you ll remain a Yorkshire Water customer unless you decide to change. Why we hope you ll stay We re proud to be one of the most efficient water companies in the UK and our business services division is working hard to deliver excellent service and great value to all the businesses we look after across Yorkshire. We want to continue to provide you with this service and would love to remain your retailer of choice in We have a wealth of knowledge in the industry and offer tailored services for individual business needs, including: Making you more efficient by offering water efficiency advice. Offering expert advice to help your business remain compliant with water regulations. Making things easier by providing single consolidated billing for customers with multiple sites. Offering bespoke products and services by working with you to understand and meet your needs. Want to find out more about how we can help your business now and in the future? Visit yorkshirewaterbusiness.com FCS logo 15

16 If you need to get in touch: Visit our website yorkshirewater.com Tweet Call us on Our contact centre is open for billing enquiries Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 9am-5pm. For water and sewerage enquiries we re open Monday to Saturday 6.30am-10pm and Sunday 7.30am-10pm. We re open 24 hours a day for emergency calls. Write to us PO Box 52 Bradford BD3 7YD Other useful numbers: Asian language Text telephone/minicom Hour automated services (meter readings and payments) Fax number Codes of Practice available: What if you need some extra help? What do we charge and why? Tell us what you think What if paying your bill is a problem? do we manage your water supply? What happens if you ve got a leak? Whose pipe is it? Where does your water go? Would a water meter be right for you? If you want to know more about our policies and procedures, the Codes of Practice above are available to download or by post. Visit yorkshirewater.com/policies for details Yorkshire Water Services Limited, Western House, Halifax Road, Bradford, BD6 2SZ. Registered in England and Wales No BC 2015

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