As Community Guides, you'll help other Northumbrian Water customers and earn cash rewards through our app. Here’s a quick recap of what you’ll do as a Community Guide.
- RESPOND to customer questions in your task list
- REVIEW answers from other Community Guides so they get paid
- EARN money and rewards when your answers are reviewed positively by the community
- RECEIVE CUSTOMER RATINGS on your answers, which will be displayed on the app as your rating
Great, what topics can I answer?
- Water supply, water pressure relating to a specific area
- Water discoloration or appearance
- General questions on water charges and how charges are calculated
- General questions about water meters
- Setting up a new account
- Customers moving home
- Advice for customers struggling to pay their bills
- Queries regarding what can be done via the website
- Encouraging customers to order a free water saving kit
And what topics can I NOT answer?
- Account management - enquiries that can only be resolved with access to the customer’s account details
- Payment related enquiries - e.g. setting up payment plans
- Complaints – anyone who wishes to make a complaint
If you receive any enquiry which falls into one of the categories above, please respond using this template: "Thank you for getting in touch. Unfortunately, I'm unable to help you with your query. Please contact Northumbrian Water on 0345 733 5566, between 8 am and 8 pm (Monday to Friday) and 8 am and 1 pm (Saturday). You could also leave a query on the website at https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/Contact.aspx."
As a rule of thumb, if the answer/advice can be found on the Northumbrian Water website, then you can respond to the customer with the relevant information.
Rather than simply sending a website link to the customer, you should always try to find the answer to their specific question.
Our FAQ section on the website is the best place to find answers to a wide variety of customer questions. Community Guides should never ask for personal customer data such as account numbers, etc.
Ok, take me through the topics I CAN answer
Queries regarding water supply or pressure
If you receive customer enquiries about no water supply, poor water pressure or water discolouration in their area you can address them.
- If the customer provides you with an area or postcode you should check on our Twitter page to see if their area is affected by any work. Make sure you provide the customer with enough information along with the relevant Twitter link! If the customer hasn' provided their postcode, just share the Twitter link with them and ask them to do a search on their own.
- If there are no details on Twitter, there are a series of questions to run through with the customer as follows:
- Check if their cold water kitchen tap works as expected – if so it may indicate a problem with their internal plumbing.
- Ask the customer to check their internal stop tap as per this link - is your internal stop tap turned on and clear of sediment?
- Ask if they live in a high rise block of flats – if yes, they need to contact their caretaker or maintenance manager. The problem may be isolated to the property, as occasionally the water pumps which deliver water to each flat fail and need to be re-set.
- Finally, customers should ring Northumbrian Water on 0345 7171100 if they are still having problems.
Questions about water discoloration or appearance
If you receive customer enquiries about water discolouration or appearance in their area you can address them.
- If the customer provides you with an area or postcode you should check on Twitter to see if their area is affected by any wor and then go back to advise the customer. Make sure you provide the customer with enough information along with the relevant Twitter link.
- Discoloured water will normally run clear if you run the first mains-fed tap in your property. This is the cold water tap nearest to your internal stop tap which is usually the cold water tap found in the kitchen. You should run this tap at the normal rate for up to 40 minutes or until clear.
- There is more help and advice on this page to support the customer.
General queries on water charges and how charges are calculated
You can advise customers of water charges by using the details that are available on the website. Please do not direct the customer to the website without trying to answer their query.
Common water charges questions and answers can be found on our website FAQ section.
Questions about water meters
You can help customers with general queries about their water meter.
Applying for a water meter To apply for a water meter you can advise customers to complete and send the online form. More details can be found here on the website.
Reverting back to normal bill payment, if a meter doesn't work for the customer: If the customer has a meter installed, they can decide to go back to paying on an unmetered basis within 2 years of getting the meter installed.
If the customer decides to go back to their previous charging method the meter will not be removed and this will be used to bill the next occupier. If the customer wishes to revert to unmeasured billing they must contact Northumbrian Water in writing to do so. This can be by letter, fax or email.
More information about water meters: https://www.nwl.co.uk/your-home/your-account/considering-a-water-meter.aspx
Setting up a new account
Setting up a new customer account: Can be done via this page on the website
Setting up a new online account: Existing customers who wish to sign up for an online account can do so via this page on the website.
More help and advice on accounts can be found here on the website.
Note: Community Guides should never ask for or deal with personal customer data such as account numbers, etc.
Questions about customers moving home
You should direct customers to contact using the online form first and foremost as this is the quickest way to tell us about a home move.
- New customer?: Click here to tell us you’re moving into our supply area.
- Current customer?: Click here to tell us you’re moving within or out of our supply area.
Common home move questions:
I am moving into a house with a water meter, can I have it removed?: No. Once a meter is installed it cannot be removed. Under the Water Industry Act, customers moving into properties with water meters cannot have the meter removed and must pay for their water on a metered b asis.
Do I have to give a meter reading when I move?: No. If you don’t provide us with a meter reading before you move we will estimate your final bill. This will based on your previous levels of water usage.
I’m moving home, I’ve bought the property but not moved in yet, when do I need to register?: Your new account will need setting up once you’ve moved into the property, or once water is being used at the property for any purpose including refurbishment.
I’m moving home, when should I send you a meter reading from my new property?: Providing us a meter reading within a few days after moving in means that we can provide you with a more accurate bill. The quickest and easiest way to give us a meter reading is through our website.
I’m moving home, when should I send you a meter reading from my old property?: If you provide us with a meter reading either on the day you move, or a few days before, we can provide you with a more accurate bill. If you don’t provide us with a meter reading before you move we will estimate your final bill. This will based on your previous levels of water usage.
I’ve just moved house and I have no water, what do I do?: First check the internal stop tap is fully on. If it is, call our Contact centre on 0345 717 1100 where one of our customer advisers will be able to assist you.
You can find more information in our FAQ section.
Questions about what to do if customers are struggling to pay their bills
Information for anyone who has difficulty paying can be found on our website here:
Schemes to support customers pay their bills:
WaterSure: WaterSure may be able to help reduce the customer's bill if their water is supplied by a meter, they are in receipt of certain means-tested benefits or tax credits and they have to use large amounts of water. Customers on the WaterSure scheme will not be billed more than the average household bill.
SupportPLUS Reduced Tariff Scheme: If customers are unable to pay their current charges, Northumbrian Water may be able to reduce the amount they pay every month. The reduction can be up to a maximum of 50% off their annual bill. In order to qualify customers will need to get a financial assessment from an independent debt advice provider such as StepChange Debt Charity.
To find more information on either of these schemes customers should contact Northumbrian Water on 0345 733 5566.
Questions about the website and what can be done via the website
For many customer requests, the quickest and easiest way to complete this is via the website. Where possible customers should be directed towards the website as the best way of completing the following tasks:
Register for an online account
Log into your account
Set up a direct debit or Change your direct debit
Make a payment
View your bill and payment history
View copies of your bill
Let us know how you are moving
Apply for a water meter
Encouraging customers to order a free water saving kit
Water saving kits offer our customers some really great devices that will help to reduce the amount of water and energy they use in their home, completely free of charge! From Tap inserts to Save-a-Flush devices that save water in the kitchen and bathroom, to trigger hose guns and moisture retaining garden crystals that save water in the garden, the water saving kits really do cover all bases when it comes to using water wisely at home.
You will find more information about water saving kits in the Knowledge section in the Limitless app. You can also find more information about water saving kits at this this link.
Customers should be encouraged to order their free water saving kit so that they can take advantage of the opportunity to reduce their water consumption, reduce their energy use in the home and ultimately save money!
Ready to take the Northumbrian Water quiz? Once you complete the quiz, our team will give you feedback.