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NWC threatens delinquent customers with drastic action

Published:Thursday | June 25, 2015 | 6:00 AMNeville Graham
Mark Barnett

Those who do not take advantage of a range of incentives and opportunities offered by the National Water Commission (NWC) can expect drastic measures to come their way.

The NWC says it will proceed with the measures in a bid to fulfil its goal of revenue recovery.

Acting President Mark Barnett said the NWC has to do everything to cope with mounting debts and a high level of receivables.

Barnett outlined the actions to be taken as he announced the range of inducements to get water users to pay.

He warned of dire consequences for those who don't come on board.

"Failure on the part of indebted, disconnected customers to take advantage of these opportunities will result in the expansion and intensification of revenue recovery activities that will include: Civil action for recovery through the courts to include sale of properties; execution of bailiff activities; arrest and prosecution of individuals with illegal re-connections and disconnection from the NWC sewer network, where applicable," Barnett warned.

Debt forgiveness, court action and social engineering are part of the measures outlined by the NWC acting president.

Beginning in July, a customer can take advantage of up to 60 per cent debt forgiveness on bills that are outstanding for more than 180 days.

debt forgiveness

The programme dubbed Crun-cher 180 is aimed at immediately getting customers to pay their bills while benefiting from a sliding scale of debt forgiveness.

Customers who respond by July 31 will pay 40 per cent of their bill while the other 60 per cent will be written off.

Customers who decide to pay up by August 31 can expect to pay only half of their outstanding bill. Those who wait until September can expect a 40 per cent reduction in their outstanding bills.

Barnett said the NWC would be coming down hard on customers who fail to take advantage of the amnesty or those delinquent customers who continue to steal the NWC's water.

He said the aim is to get persons who use NWC water to bear a different label from what obtains now as the water provider charts a new course.

"The suite of programmes being launched by the NWC today (is) aimed at signalling the dawn of a new day by the NWC. We are determined to convert consumers into customers; and more aged receivables (must) be converted into cash because it takes cash to care." Barnett declared.

He also announced that NWC customers would benefit from early-payment incentives.

This will be 10 per cent of their total bill or a flat amount of $250. There will also be a penalty of $250 for late payment. This is aimed at increasing the percentage of customers who pay their bill in full and on time from 20 per cent to in excess of 40 per cent.

The NWC acting president also announced a welcome back programme aimed at regularising persons who are currently off the NWC system or otherwise illegally connected.

Commercial customers will also come in for special attention with the assignment of key account managers.

neville.graham@gleanerjm.com