Retailers have a responsibility to build knowledge of the water market amongst inexperienced brokers

Many brokers are effectively “new entrants” to the water market, and retailers must help increase the knowledge and understanding of the market amongst these brokers, according to the chief executive of a leading water company.

In a blog for Utility Week, Water Plus chief executive Sue Amies-King said the company is “actively working” with brokers to help them understand the water market, and the role of the wholesaler and the retailer.

This, she added, will enable them to “effectively manage customer expectations and avoid customer dissatisfaction and complaints”.

She said Water Plus is currently dealing with all the major brokers in the market through its broker management team. The company is in the process of developing a “broker portal” to make it easy for brokers to quote instantly, contract online and track the switching process.

Amies-King said brokers will be “part of the fabric of the new water market in England”, and it is therefore important that they represent the interests of customers “fairly and transparently” to maintain trust in the sector.

However, she added, there are clearly concerns about some of the poor practices in the energy sector, such as mis-selling, lack of transparency on commission charges and inconsistent advice.

“It is really important for brokers to follow a code of practice – and one that has teeth,” she said.

The debate about whether or not brokers should be regulated has recently been reignited, as the opening of the water market looms. While some insist that they should be, others say the last thing the market needs is more regulation.

Read Utility Week’s analysis on broker regulation here

Read Sue Amies-King’s blog in full here