The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has urged Power Distribution System of the Electricity Company of Ghana (PDS/ECG) to improve on its customer care services to consumers, especially in the rural areas.
The PURC has received complaints from consumers in various parts of the Eastern Region during its community education to sensitise consumers on their rights and responsibilities towards the utility services providers especially, PDS/ECG.
The Eastern Regional Director of PURC, Mr Jude Aduamaoh Addo, who made the call, said customer care was very important in service delivery and urged PDS to ensure that its frontline staff exhibited professionalism and quality human relations to its clients.
He said in as much as consumers had a responsibility to pay their bills promptly to enable the utility services to function, it was the responsibility of service providers to treat their consumers with respect and dignity to ensure cordial relationship between them.
Complaints received ranged between non-billing, wrongful disconnections, extortion of monies before services were rendered, poor attitude of PDS/ECG staff towards customers at customer service centres and wrong billing among others.
However, the Regional Director of the ECG/PDS, Engineer Yaw Baah, has indicated that most of the people who complained of non-billing for several months were those whose meters were obtained and installed from different sources other than the ECG/PDS.
He explained, in an interview with the GNA, that under the Self Help Community Project (SHEP) to hook rural communities to electricity, some private persons got involved and in the process installed meters without notifying ECG/PDS to track these meters for billing.
According to the Regional Director, currently, there was no system to track illegally connected meters, and explained that their frontline staff in the district offices were embarking on a meter capturing exercise to enable them track all such meters for billing.
He said the ECG/PDS expressed concern about rendering quality customer care services especially billing, noting that, “the consumers are our lifeline, without them, there is no ECG/PDS and once people enjoy power without paying it is a loss to us and Ghana as a whole.”
The Regional Director appealed to Assembly Members and other stakeholders to desist from giving meters to consumers in the rural areas under the SHEP without notifying or routing it through the ECG/PDS for it to be captured for billing.
He also cautioned private electrical engineers and people contracted under the SHEP to desist from installing the meters to the unsuspecting rural consumers since the ECG/PDS would deal ruthlessly with them when identified.