Utility firm pledges better service to Lyde Green residents

Lyde Green Community Association has met with representatives from Leep Utilities, which supplies water to the estate, after a host of complaints and concerns.

In Issue 690 (4th August) we reported that a petition had been started on the change.org by residents in Lyde Green saying they had no confidence in Leep Utilities, citing unfair bills that lead people to fall further and further into debt, poor customer service, the lack of an online account facility, and problems with direct debits.

Leep Utilities owns and operates regulated and non-regulated multi-utility networks across the UK and took over SSE in 2019. SSE used to supply water and sewerage services in Lyde Green under a law allowing new companies to enter the market and existing companies to expand into areas where they are not the appointed company. SSE Water applied to replace Wessex Water as the appointed sewerage company and to replace Bristol Water as the water supplier.

Now Lyde Green Community Association (LGCA) has had two meetings with Leep Utilities, with another one planned, and the company has promised a better service.

LGCA explained that  it was asked by resident Andrew Clark, who started the petition, to work with him in dealing with a number of issues that members of the local community were having with Leep Utilities: “This included overcharging, poor communication (customers weren’t able to get hold of Leep customer services teams), poor water quality and issues with direct debits being taken incorrectly.

“We have now been at two meetings with colleagues from Leep to ensure that Lyde Green customers get the water service they need. We agreed to compile a spreadsheet of local customers’ information that could be passed to Leep who would then deal with each specific issue with the customers directly. This spreadsheet has been passed to Leep who say that every customer they have contacted has agreed that their issues have now been resolved; a few that Leep haven’t been able to contact have been sent letters asking for the customers to contact Leep to discuss this.”

Leep also gave a presentation in the form of a customer forum review to LGCA to pass to the community. LGCA said: “They have asked us to reassure the community that any issues taken to them (or you can do this through the LGCA if you prefer) will be addressed. They are hoping to shortly be able to offer a service that will offer an individual account check (including a visit to your property) when customers are experiencing high bills to determine the reasons behind this.”

In the review Leep says: “As a business we know that investment is key to the development and success of Leep. We also listen to what our customers are telling us and when we get it wrong, look to understand how we can implement sustainable solutions for the future so that we can deliver the great customer experience our customers deserve. 2020/21 has seen some important changes at Leep that will deliver new innovative ways of working not just for now but for the future, as we strive to become your utility provider of choice.”

Leep explains in the review that it has recently brought in a new senior management structure, and the firm apologises to customers who have really struggled to get through. It says there is now a new multi-contact platform to get customers through to the right person first time in order to have their query dealt with, that it has replaced the outdated voicemail facility with a “golden ticket option” that will ensure a customer is called back as soon as an advisor is available, and that it is working hard to resolve issues with direct debit payments.

Leep adds that it hopes to provide improved water-saving advice to customers i the near future.

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