- Essex & Suffolk Water has been awarded the Keep Me Posted campaign’s ‘Best Practice’ Mark of Distinction
- Essex & Suffolk Water has committed to protecting the right of its 1.8 million customers to receive paper bills and statements
- Essex & Suffolk Water is the latest organisation to join the campaign this month, along with Northumbrian Water – following Dee Valley Water.
Essex & Suffolk Water has been awarded a ‘Mark of Distinction’ by the Keep Me Posted campaign. The Marks help consumers to recognise when a business has made a commitment to giving its customers a choice in how they are communicated with – specifically, securing their customers’ right to receive paper bills and statements.
Essex & Suffolk Water serves more than 1.8 million customers and it has been awarded a Mark of Distinction due to its commitment to providing all of its customers with paper bills and statements, without charge or penalty. It joins a number of UK water, energy and financial services companies who currently back the campaign, including recent recipient Dee Valley Water.
Judith Donovan CBE, Chair, of the Keep Me Posted campaign, said: “I’m delighted to award Essex & Suffolk Water with the Keep Me Posted campaign’s ‘Best Practice’ Mark of Distinction. It is great to see another provider making moves to protect their customers and actively putting the customers’ right to paper bills and statements. Having access to paper billing is especially important considering our research shows that people are better able to manage their finances when using paper statements (75% vs. 48% of those with electronic payments)*.
“By continuing to offer paper bills and statements, Essex & Suffolk Water has demonstrated its commitment to giving its customers a choice in how they are communicated with.”
Claire Sharp, Customer Director at Northumbrian Water Group, said: “We live in a world of choice, brought about by developments in technology and good practice, and this is something that is hugely important to us in the way we deal with our customers. We are passionate about making the way we work as customer-friendly as possible and a choice in billing is something that reaches to the heart of that, so we are very happy to have been recognised by Keep Me Posted in this way.”
Essex & Suffolk Water joins the Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster Bank, Principality Building Society, Welsh Water, Yorkshire Water, Bristol Water, Wessex Water, OVO Energy, Thames Water and Dee Valley as one of the service providers publically recognised by the campaign as providing paper bills and statements to its customers:
- Without imposing charges or other penalties**
- Without removing paper or altering frequency unless there is prior agreement
- Without taking away continued access to online
Judith Donovan CBE, continued: “Empowering consumers and giving them a voice has always been at the forefront of our campaign. Our ‘Marks of Distinction’ are vital for consumers who are seeking a new supplier for financial services, utilities or telecoms, and want their right to consumer choice protected.”
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* Research taken from Keep Me Posted ‘Managing money online –working as well as we think?’ report prepared by London Economics with research conducted by YouGov, January 2015
** The campaign will also begin awarding some companies a ‘Good Practice’ Mark, in the event that they charge for paper bills but in a way that is considered fair and equitable to the cost of providing the bill.
About the campaign:
The Keep Me Posted campaign is chaired by Judith Donovan CBE and is a partnership of representatives from 87 concerned organisations such as mental health charity Mind, DementiaUK, The Money Charity, and the National Consumer Federation.
Keep Me Posted campaign partners believe that it is every consumer’s right to choose, without disadvantage, how they are contacted by banks, utility companies and other service providers in the face of an increasing trend of businesses switching their customers to mainly digital communication, which isn’t always preferable or suitable for a large proportion of UK consumers.
For further information or for more information on the Keep Me Posted campaign, please contact:
Cordelia Jacob, Lansons, 020 7566 9773, firstname.lastname@example.org