Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Delano Franklyn | JPS incompetence shocking

Published:Tuesday | September 17, 2019 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) ought to be ranked as one of the most inefficient, uncaring, and insensitive companies in Jamaica.

On Monday, September 9, we discovered, at about 6 a.m., that the Jamaica Association of Composers, Authors and Publishers (JACAP) commercial building, located at 21 Connolley Avenue and in which my law offices are housed, was experiencing severe low voltage.

As a result of this situation, nearly 95 per cent of the building had no electricity. The in-house electrician checked everything possible and informed us that the problem was not internal, but with a JPS pole on the road across from the building.

By 7 o’clock that same morning, the matter was reported, by way of a telephone call, by the property manager to the JPS Call Centre. The JPS representative who answered promised to have the matter resolved within one to six hours. Apparently this is the knee-jerk response given to callers. Despite persistent calls by the property manager during the day, no one from the JPS showed up.

The following day, Tuesday, September 10, the property manager called the JPS Call Centre five times during the day, and she was told each time that someone from JPS “would soon be there”.

That same day, I messaged my friend, the affable and easily accessible Winsome Callum, director of corporate communications and customer experience at JPS, who promised that she would follow up the matter. No one from JPS showed up that day.

The property manager continued her calls on Wednesday the 11th, and at about 11 a.m., a work crew arrived and, thereafter, informed us that “they did not have the requisite tools to open the meter and that another crew would arrive shortly”. The manager of the property advised the crew that the problem was not on the premises but with the pole on the road.

That afternoon, about 5:15, a crew turned up and, upon examination of the pole, advised that “a clamp on the pole was burnt”. A member of the crew then used his mobile phone to call the offices of the JPS and advised them of the problem. After the conversation, he informed us that “a team that was on its way to the airport would be diverted to come and deal with the issue”. That crew is probably still on its way to the airport, whichever airport, because it did not turn up.

On Thursday, September 12, we called the JPS Call Centre, only to be told that“the matter was logged in their books as being resolved, so they will have to restart the process by relogging the issue as one to be dealt with”. In other words, forget the fact that we have been calling since Monday. The process will now start anew.

Upon hearing that, the property manager insisted on speaking, to a supervisor, and a gentleman who identified himself as a supervisor, by the name of Alwayne promised that a team would visit some time during the day. Of course, none came.

The property manager continued her relentless bombardment of the JPS Call Centre with telephone calls on Friday, September 13.

At 2:30 p.m. that same day, a JPS crew found a burnt clamp on the pole and dealt with it. Thereupon, electricity was fully restored to the building.

In five minutes, JPS had corrected an issue that had rendered all the offices in the building and the near 20 workers ‘non-productive’ for an entire workweek. JACAP, with its hundreds of members across the country, was unable to provide them with the services to which they have become accustomed. Our law offices were also under siege for the entire week by clients whose matters were to have been completed during the week.

The embarrassment to us caused by JPS reflects the ineptitude and callousness of a company that is prepared to hold its paying customers to ransom.

Delano Franklyn is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to