South Staffs Water encourages customers to avoid Bogus Callers
With an average of 14,000 distraction burglaries reported annually South Staffs Water is committed to working with its vulnerable customers and taking steps to ensure that everyone can feel safe within their own home. The water company, as part of its Priority Services Register, operates a free-of-charge password protection scheme, which helps ensure customers know that their visitors are genuine.
Although not exclusively an issue for this customer group, there is a worrying trend of bogus callers preying on the elderly and vulnerable and this can be a particular risk as the dark nights draw in. However, simply by registering a unique password with South Staffs Water, which its representatives will always use if they need to visit, everyone has an instant check.
In addition, South Staffs Water also implements the following processes to help keep its customers safe from bogus callers. All employees carry photo identity cards, and each card has a unique number. Customers can call the office, quote the ID number and the water company will check the name and reason for the visit. In most cases, direct South Staffs Water employees will also wear a branded uniform and will typically be in a branded vehicle.
Regardless of whether a customer has signed up for the password protection scheme, the company recommends a three-step approach when customers receive unexpected or unknown visitors:
- Stop! – are you expecting anybody? Do they have an appointment?
- Chain – Secure your door bar or chain before opening the door
- Check – ask for a double-check of the caller’s ID.
It is important that customers aren’t pressured, conned or tricked into letting a stranger into their home and the message is simple, ‘if in doubt, keep them out’.
Phil Newland, Managing Director at South Staffs Water added: “Safeguarding the wellbeing of our customers is paramount to us, so we are always looking for anything we can do to improve the service they receive from us. The password protection scheme is a simple way of giving them extra confidence that the person at the door is who they say they are.”
The Priority Services Register has been designed to provide South Staffs Water’s customers with extra help when they need it. The water company can also help if a customer has difficulty reading or understanding their bill, if they have hearing or speech difficulties, need a translation service or would rather the company dealt directly with a friend or relative on their behalf. It is also important that customers register if there is a medical reason that an interruption to water supply would have an impact.
To register for South Staffs Water’s Priority Services, please contact 0345 6070 456 or click here.