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Complaints

Below is guidance on making a complaint about drinking water quality in Scotland or making a complaint about DWQR's own service.

Making a Complaint About Drinking Water Quality

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator provides a second-tier level of complaint investigation for consumers, where they are dissatisfied with the outcome of a formal complaint about drinking water quality to Scottish Water or about a complaint regarding a private water supply and the relevant local authority. This means we will normally only look at complaints that have been through the organisation’s full complaints procedure, giving them the opportunity to address concerns and put things right.

There is more information on consumer complaint investigations within the Regulator Activity tab.

Making a Complaint About Our Service

DWQR is committed to offering a high standard of service. We value complaints and use information from them to help us improve.

This page describes how to make a complaint about us and tells you what you can expect from us. Our Complaint Handling Procedure is in accordance with the guidance published by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO).

A service complaint is an expression of dissatisfaction from one or more customers about the standard of service we have provided.

You can complain about things like:

  • failure to provide a service or inadequate standard of service,
  • delays in responding to your enquiries and requests,
  • how we communicated with you,
  • treatment by or attitude of a member of staff.

You can't use the complaints process to:

  • make a request for information,
  • reopen a previously concluded service complaint or to have a service complaint reconsidered. 

Anyone who requests or is affected by our services can make a complaint including the representative of someone who is dissatisfied with our service.

You can complain:

  • by telephone by contacting 0131 244 0190
  • by email DWQR@gov.scot
  • In writing to: Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland, 3-F South, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ

We will always ensure that reasonable adjustments are made to help customers access our complaint procedure.

Normally, you must make your complaint within 6 months of the event you want to complain about, or finding out that you have a reason to complain. In exceptional circumstances, we may be able to accept a complaint after the limit. If you feel that the time limit should not apply to your complaint, please tell us why.

Our complaints process has two stages.

Stage 1 - Frontline Resolution

Frontline resolution aims to quickly resolve straightforward complaints that require little or no investigation. We aim to do this within five working days.

Stage 2 - Investigation

Stage 2 is for those complaints that have not been resolved at Stage 1 and those that are complex in nature and require detailed investigation.

When using Stage 2 we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint within three working days and give you a full response to the complaint as soon as possible and within 20 working days.

If, having gone through our complaints procedure, you are still dissatisfied you can appeal to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO). 

In carrying out investigations there may be a need to share your personal information with a concerned body e.g. Scottish Water, the local authority or SPSO, etc. where they are implicated in a related water quality complaint investigation. You can find out about the types of personal data we may collect about you when you make a complaint to us in the privacy notice on our website.  

We understand that you may be unable, or reluctant, to make a complaint yourself. We can take complaints from a friend, relative, or an advocate, if you have given them your consent to complain on your behalf.

If you require specific support, such as learning difficulties, people who are deaf or hard of hearing or you require information in large font or braille please contact us where suitable arrangements may be put in place if appropriate. You can find out about advocates in your area by contacting the Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance.

Our Complaint Handling Procedure below explains this process in more detail.

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