Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is the latest provider to sign the Keep Me Posted six point pledge, protecting communications choice for a further 3 million customers. And the consumer campaign challenges other providers to sign its pledge. Chair Judith Donovan says, “We will not stop until we secure protection for all of the UK’s consumers”.
The Keep Me Posted Campaign today announces that it has to date guaranteed communications choice for more than 6 million Britons, as Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water officially adopts their six point pledge. Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water joins fellow utility company Wessex Water and fellow Welsh business Principality Building Society as forward looking providers pledging support for the campaign.
In less than a year, the campaign has earned the backing of more than 50 businesses, consumer interest groups and charities as they appeal to service providers to protect the right of consumers to receive a paper bill or statement without being penalised in any way*. The three providers who have agreed to uphold the pledge have a combined customer base of 6 million people; 500,000 from Principality, 2.7 million from Wessex Water and a further 3 million from Welsh Water.
However, despite ensuring that these customers have control over how they are communicated with, an estimated 9.8 million UK adults are still in desperate need of protection. Recent figures* indicate that 19% of the UK’s adult population do not have the basic online skills required to manage their bank, utility and telecoms accounts online. Vulnerable consumers are particularly affected with people aged over 65, for instance, accounting for 52% of this figure.
Despite many companies defence that a move to digital is prompted by customer demand and inspired by convenience, four out of five (81%)** UK adults feel that it should be the right of the customer to choose how they receive their bills. And despite the cost-saving implicit in a move to digital, preserving paper billing may be a benefit to the organisations themselves with 41%*** of consumers admitting that without the welcome prompt of a letter, they’d be frightened they might miss a bill payment.
Judith Donovan, CBE chair of the Keep Me Posted campaign, said, “It’s clear that water companies are leading the way when recognising the vital role that communication plays to their many customers. It’s also encouraging that two companies based in Wales have made this pledge, due to the particular difficulties that rural parts of the nation have with broadband availability. It’s a real sign of the value that Welsh Water, Wessex Water and Principality BS place on customer satisfaction that they have all so readily adopted the principles of the Keep Me Posted campaign.
“We will not stop until we have guaranteed communications choice for all of the UK’s customers. We invite service providers to discuss any concerns they may have with us – we feel our research and the expertise of our partner organisations can demonstrate the significant impact subscribing to the pledge will have on their customers.”