Got a question? You may find the answer in the frequently asked questions below. If not, please submit your question and we’ll try to help.
Please note: We can’t tell you who your current retailer is.
You can find this out by checking your most recent water bill. If you can’t find a bill, or have recently moved to new business premises, you can contact any retailer and they can tell you which water or wastewater retailer your premises is currently registered to.
Where can I get advice on the retail water market?
You can get help and advice about the retail water market from various places, including the Consumer Council for Water (CCW), organisations that represent your industry or sector, and regional Chambers of Commerce.
There may also be professional consultants that can offer advice and help with the switching process. Third party intermediaries (TPIs) and brokers may also be able to help but they may charge you or the retailers for the service they provide.
You might also want to look at The Water Report’s Customer Guide. This is an independent guide to the market that includes a retailer-by-retailer listing to help you find a retailer that is right for you. Please note that this guide was produced when the market opened in April 2017. Our retailer webpage has the most updated information including any new retailers who were granted licenses since the market opened.
Where can I get updates about the market?
You can keep up to date with the latest news about Open Water and the retail water market using this site, which is the official website for the business retail water market. It is impartial and lists all competitors in the market. Retailers are not charged a fee to be listed.
You can also follow @OpenWaterOrg on Twitter.
Am I able to agree a switch orally, and are there any customer protections after I agree to a switch?
Yes. Business customers (including voluntary and public sector organisations) are able to choose whether they would like to agree a contract in writing or orally.
If you are a Micro-business (i.e. you have less than 10 employees) there are additional protections in place, These are set out in the Customer Protection Code of Practice (CPCoP), and include:
Oral agreement: Where you conclude a contract orally, the Retailer must send you a written copy of certain key information (as specified in section 6.1.1 of the CPCoP) and a written copy of the Terms and Conditions of Supply that you have agreed to. Following deemed receipt of this information, the seven calendar day cooling off period will commence. During the cooling off period, it is recommended that you review the key information and Terms and Conditions of Supply to ensure that you are happy with these, including that they align with the agreement you made. You may cancel the switch within the cooling off period if you wish.
Where you conclude a contract orally, there is a requirement for the retailer to make an audio recording which includes capturing your acknowledgement that you have heard and understood the key information that the retailer must provide to you and that you accept the Terms and Conditions of Supply.
Written agreement: If you chose to conclude your contract in writing, the retailer will not be able to initiate the switch until it has:
1. written acknowledgement from you that you have read and understood the key information (as specified in section 6.1.1 of the CPCoP); and
2. either has written acknowledgement that you accept the Terms and Conditions of Supply, or a copy of the Terms and Conditions of Supply signed by or on behalf of you; and
3. The cooling off period has ended. The cooling off period will end seven calendar days after you provide the written acknowledgements detailed above. It is recommended that you use the cooling off period to review the key information and Terms and Conditions of Supply to ensure that you are happy with these. You may cancel the switch within the cooling off period if you wish.
All business customers are able to make a complaint to their retailer in the event of a dispute in relation to an agreement, irrespective of whether this was concluded orally or in writing. Where you complain to the retailer in writing (to the notified address for submission of complaints), the Guaranteed Service Standards (GSS) apply, and your retailer should provide a substantive response within 10 working days of receiving your complaint. If they fail to do this, they must make an automatic GSS payment of £20 to you. If you are unable to resolve your complaint with the retailer, the Consumer Council for Water may be able to help.
Right to request personal data
It should be noted that you can request a copy of audio recordings and/or written information that the Retailer holds. You may wish to do this if the information they hold might be relevant to your complaint. Information about requests for personal data under the UK General Data Protection Regulation can be found here.