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Complainant Name:
Simon Evans

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: Evening Standard


Simon Evans, Press Office Manager for Thames Water, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the article "Smelly tap water was tainted by ‘glue' chemicals" had failed to report that Thames Water had responded to a customer's complaint about the water in four working days, despite informing the newspaper that this was the case. The complainant felt that this gave an unbalanced account of the events, as it left the customer's claim that it had taken the company two weeks to respond un-countered. The complainant had contacted the newspaper, who undertook to alter the article on the website and in later editions. The newspaper had duly altered the online edition, but failed to change the later printed editions of the article.


The complaint was resolved, prior to the PCC's involvement, when the newspaper printed the following letter from Thames Water in its letters page:

Following complaints last month about an unusual smell in tap water from a small number of customers in north-east London, we can confirm this problem is fully resolved. Contrary to Rachel Lewis's claim that it took us two weeks to answer her written query, our records show she emailed us on 19 February and after trying to call her we emailed her on 25 February, four working days later.

We apologise to Miss Lewis and to all other customers affected.

Date Published: 01/04/2010

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