Sunday 23 September, 2018

Nearly $130 million paid out to customers for utilities breaches

For the year 2017, JPS committed a total 75,571 breaches which attracted potential compensation of approximately $151.8 million.

For the year 2017, JPS committed a total 75,571 breaches which attracted potential compensation of approximately $151.8 million.

Utility customers benefitted from payouts of $129 million as a result of  breaches of the Guaranteed Standards as well as credits and compensation secured for them by the  Office of Utilities Regulation 's (OUR) Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU) last year.

The Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS) and National Water Commission (NWC) paid out approximately $127.8 million as a result of breaches of the Guaranteed Standards.

Of this sum, approximately $124 million was paid by JPS and $3.8 million by NWC.  An additional sum of $1.5 million was secured in credits and compensation for utility customers through actions taken by the OUR’s Consumer Affairs Unit (CAU).

 JPS and NWC accounted for 18 per cent and 80% of total credits respectively, with the remaining two per cent being secured from C&WJ (FLOW) and Columbus Communications (Flow). 

For the year 2017, JPS committed a total 75,571 breaches which attracted potential compensation of approximately $151.8 million. Actual payments amounted to approximately $124 million, representing 82 per cent of total potential amounts, which was paid out through automatic compensation.

In 2017, the NWC committed a total of 2,561 breaches of the Guaranteed Standards which attracted potential compensation of approximately $8.1 million. Actual payments amounted to approximately $3.84 million, representing 47 per cent of total potential amounts with the remaining 53 per cent not being paid as the required claim forms were not submitted.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,047 contacts were received by the CAU during the 2017 October - December quarter. This represents the highest number of contacts received in any one quarter throughout calendar year 2017.

With the exception of equipment damage complaints, there was a general increase in all other main complaint categories. Service interruption, unavailability of service and disconnection showed the greatest increases over the preceding period at 64 per cent, 45 per cent and 33 per cent respectively.

The data for geographic distribution of contacts shows that 55 per cent of contacts were from the Kingston Metropolitan Region.

During the quarter, the two main reasons for utility customers contacting the CAU related to billing and interruption of service. Other utility customer concerns were: Guaranteed Standards, customer service, unavailability of service, equipment damage, disconnection and redress not received. Completing the list was ‘all other categories’.