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Utility customers get more than $2-million compensation – OUR

Published:Thursday | December 1, 2016 | 1:09 PM

The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) says as a result of their actions aggrieved customers of utility companies received more than $2 million in compensation during the July-September 2016 quarter.

The OUR says In its latest quarterly performance report the consumer affairs unit (CAU) reported that $2,371,670.12 was secured for utility customers following investigation into their appeals.

Jamaica Public Service company (JPS) and National Water Commission (NWC) accounted for 84 per cent and 16 per cent, respectively, of the credits secured.

The CAU reported that it received 1,163 new contacts representing a 34 per cent increase compared with the preceding quarter.

The OUR says this is the highest number of contacts received since January 2016.

The data indicate a general increase in contacts over the previous period, for all major areas of concern.

Of the total number of contacts, JPS accounted for 34 per cent, NWC for 24 per cent, Cable and Wireless (FLOW) 13 per cent, and Columbus Communications (FLOW) 10 per cent.

Six per cent of the complaints related to Digicel, while small water providers CanCara Development and Dynamic Environmental Management Limited (DEML), telecommunications provider Dekal Wireless and other matters made up the remaining 13 per cent.

Matters relating to billing saw a 28 per cent increase over the preceding quarter and remained the predominant reason for customer contact to the CAU.

It says billing issues complained about included: adjustments that were applied to customers’ accounts, billing punctuality, high consumption, disputed charges and estimated billing.

There were 505 billing-related contacts of which JPS and NWC accounted for 231 (or 46 per cent) and 175 (35 per cent) respectively.

Digicel accounted for 25 (or five per cent) while C&WJ (FLOW) and Columbus Communications (FLOW) accounted for 33 (or seven per cent) and 24 or (five per cent) respectively.

Billing contacts for small water providers and contacts that were not utility related represented the remaining two percent. The OUR’s latest Quarterly Performance Report can be viewed on our website: