Local MP supports new service which promises help for struggling water customers

Water company United Utilities recently met with West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper to share information on how customers in West Lancashire facing debt or other challenges are unaware of the help their utility company can provide.

United Utilities has launched a new Priority Services scheme for struggling customers, which has been backed by Rosie Cooper.

The free Priority Services scheme provides help in managing debt; support for customers facing mental health issues or struggling with ‘life events’ such as divorce, job loss or bereavement; and services for customers who have physical disabilities. 

Services include tailored payment plans to avoid or overcome debt; large print, braille or ‘talking bills; a nominee scheme which allows a carer, family member or friend to manage a water account on someone’s behalf; translation services and additional support for vulnerable customers during interruptions to water supply.

A specialist call handling team, trained by organisations including Mind, Samaritans, SkillsGen and the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, will support those who register for the scheme.

Louise Beardmore, United Utilities’ customer services director said: “We know that many thousands of customers in the North West face multiple challenges, but are hesitant to ask for help, or are simply unaware that support is out there.

“By registering for Priority Services, customers will have access to a specialist team who can provide tailored support for as long as it’s needed. Whether a customer is in debt, struggling to cope with an unexpected life event, or has specific mental or physical health needs, we can help.

“We continue to promote the service to customers across the region, and working with partner organisations to spread the word and break down barriers.”

West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper said: “I very much welcome United Utilities’ commitment to keep improving the quality of their services and support to their customers in West Lancashire and across the North West.

“The new Priority Service scheme is a real innovation.  I strongly urge any West Lancashire residents to sign up to the scheme, taking advantage of the help available.

“Let United Utilities ease the pressure on you and your family during those difficult periods we all experience.  There is no need to struggle in silence, there is help and support available from your water company.

“Go online or give United Utilities a call and see how their Priority Service scheme could be helping you.”

Customers can register for United Utilities’ Priority Services scheme at unitedutilities.com/priorityservices. Family members, carers or friends can register on a customer’s behalf.

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