We Can’t Pay Customers’ Compensation – ECG Screams
The Electricity Company of Ghana has ruled out any compensation for consumers who were unable to purchase electricity credits due to technical difficulties as a result of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission’s instruction (PURC).
The power distribution company’s Managing Director, Samuel Dubik Masubir Mahama, stated that customers will be compensated on a “case-by-case” basis.
He stated that the company has no objections to the directive, but that clients will only be compensated if they present evidence of their difficulties.
Recent outages in the Company’s prepayment metering system left many customers without power for several days.
The Company later declared that the difficulties had been resolved in all regions except the Ashanti Region, which had its problem resolved on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
However, the PURC charged ECG earlier this week with providing sufficient compensation for the failures documented around the country as it violates electricity provider standards.
ECG will compensate all impacted lifeline users with GH15 in credit, and residential and non-residential customers with GH120 and GH240, respectively.
The PURC’s directive is to demand responsive customer service from ECG.
Mr Mahama, speaking to press in Accra on Thursday, October 6, 2022, stressed that the payout could not be for everyone.
“What we are also seeing is that just by one person saying something, there were panic buys. There were people that didn’t need to form queues but were in the queues. So, how should I compensate somebody who I shouldn’t compensate?”
He was dissatisfied that the PURC issued the directive without listening to his concerns.
Earlier, Charles Ayiku, the ECG’s Manager in Charge of External Relations, stated that his organization is currently hampered.
“For now, we cannot provide any compensation. As you are aware, we are going through some level of challenges, so I would plead that we conclude on that, and we can look at the issue of compensation.”
However, Kofi Kapito, the Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Protection Agency, who had made an early appeal for compensation, insisted that the ECG was required to reimburse customers.
“If it [compensation] is not on the table, they better put it on the table because it is not fair,” he said.
“So the excuse doesn’t hold water anymore because if you are telling me that you have identified the challenge, and you cannot correct it from Tuesday to Friday, it is not adequate.”
Mr. Kapito also emphasized that the ECG was to blame for the challenge.
“This is not a force majeure. It is a man-made thing… so nobody should tickle themselves by saying it is no fault of theirs. It is their fault.”
Customers have been unable to purchase credit for their prepaid meters for the past two weeks, either through the ECG App or from vending machines.
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