Charlotte Water ranks fifth-highest in the South in J.D. Power’s first study of residential customer satisfaction with water utilities.
The consumer data firm gives Charlotte a score of 725 on a 1,000-point scale. Florida’s Miami-Dade County utility leads the region with 765 points.
Raleigh’s utility slips in just below the average for 29 southern utilities with a score of 702.
J.D. Power measured customer satisfaction for 84 utilities, in four regions, that serve at least 400,000 customers. Utilities were scored for delivery, price, billing and payment, conservation, communications and customer service.
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Results for individual utilities weren’t publicly released, but Power said complaints of bad-tasting or smelly water quickly erode customer happiness. More than a third of customers surveyed reported some sort of water delivery or quality problem in the previous six months.
Just this week, N.C. regulators issued Charlotte Water a notice of deficiency for excess iron in water on South Summit Avenue, in Wesley Heights, after customers complained of discolored water. No fines were levied, but the utility will have to file quarterly reports with the state.
Director Barry Gullet said the problem occurred when the city upgraded water mains along the street, leaving valves inadvertently closed. Gullet said the problem is believed to be resolved.