WSD accepts recommendations in Ombudsman's report

The Water Supplies Department (WSD) fully accepts the recommendations made in the Ombudsman's direct investigation report on WSD's water meter reading and billing system.  The WSD is actively studying and following up on the recommendations with a view to improving its services.

"The WSD is always striving to improve the quality of its customer services and has put in place a number of improvement measures, such as enhancing the procedure for handling zero consumption cases, the tightening of High/Low check boundaries and the specification of the observation period after replacement of meters. These measures have also been recognised and mentioned in the Ombudsman's investigation report," a spokesman for WSD said today (September 15).

"Following the implementation of the Aged Meter Replacement Programme in 2006/07, the number of complaints regarding water bills and charges due to defective meters was reduced by more than 50 per cent from 15,293 in 2006/07 to 7,360 in 2010/11, which amounts to just 0.1 per cent of the 7.5 million water bills we issue each year," he said.

Based on the result of WSD's random meter testing programme in 2010/11, the report mentioned that about 5 per cent of the meters tested failed to meet the accuracy rule of within 3 per cent of actual water consumption.

The spokesman explained that all in-service meters are mechanical devices and that a long period of usage will result in wear and tear. This leads to the failure of some meters in meeting the accuracy rule.  Based on the results of WSD's random meter testing programme in 2010/11, the water consumption measured by 99 per cent of the inaccurate meters amounted to less than actual consumption.

The spokesman stressed that the WSD will continue to enhance its billing system and take all effective measures to improve its service quality.  Among the improvements made were the clear specification of the observation period in handling defective meter cases and enhanced procedures for handling zero consumption cases.  The WSD will also continue to expedite the implementation of the Aged Meter Replacement Programme.

To ensure customer satisfaction, the WSD has adopted various monitoring mechanisms, striving to continuously enhance in its customer services.  Customers are welcome to express their comments on the standard of services provided by WSD through various channels, such as the Customer Liaison Group, telephone hotline, fax, Customer Enquiry Centres, the Internet, commendation and suggestion forms, and customer opinion surveys.

Ends/Thursday, September 15, 2011
Issued at HKT 19:17