As part of efforts at improving service delivery in line with the Service Reflective Tariff (SRT) regime in the electricity supply industry, Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC) has begun a major network clean up which entails mass disconnection of illegal consumers and those with other infractions that could hinder its smooth operation.
The network clean-up which started recently with a mass disconnection in Government Reservation Area (GRA) and Boundary road in Benin city, Edo state saw the company’s team comprising business unit and service centre officers in these locations, combing the network for illegalities, while also interacting with customers to identify the problems being experienced as a feedback for service improvement, with a view to resolving such complaints/issues to enable legitimate customers continue to enjoy improved service.
Led by the Chief State Head, Edo, Mr Abel Enechaziam, the team during the clean up directed customers to its customer complaints channels to resolve complaints/issues, and encouraged indebted customers to partake in the newly introduced debt rescheduling scheme developed as palliative for customers who owe electricity bills and are unable to instantaneously pay such debts given various challenges which has reduced their ability to pay. The scheme provides the opportunity or possibility to restructure the terms and conditions for them to be able to settle their outstanding consumption bills on longer payment period of up to 60 months.
Prior to the commencement of the network clean up, BEDC had started a massive customer reach-out programme through direct communication with customers by field representatives, POS-agents, call centre representatives aiming to provide to the customer’s individual debt rescheduling solutions based on the Debt Rescheduling Scheme.
“We used the exercise to send a clear message to non-responsive customers that BEDC will not allow infractions to continue within in the network. The interaction was friendly and business-oriented. We assisted some of them resolve their issues, while several disconnections took place of others who were hugely indebted or illegally connected. The whole essence was to enable customers know that BEDC services in terms of energy distribution is sustainable if they pay their bills promptly”, remarked Mr Enechaziam.
He explained that the exercise which entailed going to customer houses and business premises in the chosen locations, afforded BEDC the opportunity of checking installed meters especially Prepaid (PPM) ones, for possible bypass and/or huge debts, saying that such debts was hindering the company from optimising its service delivery.