This article studies the validity of consumer satisfaction reports as a tool for assessing the performance of water services in Guatemala. Using survey data from 500 households, item-total correlations and Cronbach's alpha coefficients were computed and a factor analysis was conducted to investigate whether qualitative measures of consumer satisfaction with service hours, water treatment, pressure and prices are associated with a single latent scale. In addition, probit and regression models were estimated to identify underlying factors that influence consumer satisfaction. Results show that a considerable percentage of respondents are dissatisfied with current water services, particularly with the number of daily hours of water provision and pressure levels. Findings also indicate that consumer satisfaction is related to service attributes (i.e. frequency of service interruptions and pressure levels) and some personal characteristics. This lends some support to using consumer satisfaction reports, with due caution, to assess service performance in contexts where performance indicators are lacking.

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