Disconnecting electricity consumers without 10 working days’ notice is illegal ― FCCPC

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The Federal Competition and Consumer protection Commission, FCCPC, have disclosed that no electricity distribution company, (Disco) has the right to disconnect a customer without first serving them a notice for atleast 10 working days from the date of delivery of their bill.

The Commission further revealed that the Disco must notify the consumer in writing ahead of the disconnection of electricity service before doing so adding that upon payment of an outstanding bill , they have a duty to reconnect you 24hours.

Speaking during a-4 day electricity consumer complaint resolution platform in Calabar on Wednesday , the Executive Vice Chairman, Babatunde Irukera bemoaned the abysmal service provided by Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHED, in Calabar and it’s environs.

He disclosed that based on his interaction with the people ,PHED needs to improve it’s service adding that their success was not measured based on what they generate but customer satisfaction.

He berated PHED over their poor service delivery , describing their services to resident of Cross River state as oppressive following the reports they received on many issues including mass disconnection carried out by the company without recourse to the law.

His words :” I want to convey to you the incredible displeasure of the people of Cross River , according to them especially the governor , if they have their way , they will prefer the that PHED does not operate in the state.

“If this is the view about your business , then I don’t think that business will survive.

“The massive disconnection of communities because of debt is not only illegal, it is outrageous , and an abuse of the People’s right , disconnecting the whole community is oppressive .

“There are people in that same Community are consistent , so it is injustice and unfair to also disconnect them.

“Any business that cannot satisfy its consumers is preparing to die allowing consumers to pay tariffs without commensurate electricity supply is against the law.

“The problem of compelling consumers to pay electricity bills is tantamount to oppressing and extorting money illegally from consumers.

“What Port Harcourt and Electricity Distribution Company is doing is by forcing customers to pay bills is just to make all agencies fail.

“The commercial contract we have is between the citizens and the power distribution companies, and that is acceptable. People pay for a service, and it is mandatory to provide what they have paid for.
“The internal mechanism for assessing scorecard of electricity companies is not by collection of tariffs, rather it is customer satisfaction that matters.

Speaking further, Irukera said a situation where Discos disconnect power supply for some days and still give out bills covering that same period was exploitative because they are out concerned about making money are the expense of thier customers.

He explained that it was illegal for consumers to buy transformers, and later it becomes PHED property.

The FCCPC Vice Chairman however called on customers to be civil and considerate in dealing with PHED and it’s officials adding that he understands the frustrations and the plight of the people.

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