The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Sunyani office has resolved 3,254 complaints out of 3,289 received between 2019 and the end of September 2022 in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
This represents 98.94 per cent success rate.
The remaining are at various stages of being settled, Mr Patrick Antwi, the Commission’s Manager responsible for the three regions said in an interview with the Ghana News Agency about efforts being made to address challenges confronting both consumers and utility services providers.
Within the period, he said 2,783 complaints had been made against the Northern Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCo), while 430 had gone against Ghana Water Company (GWCL).
Additionally, 76 complaints were made against consumers, which were mostly on illegal connections and non-payment of bills.
On the yearly breakdown, Mr. Antwi said 660 complaints were received in 2019, 835 for 2020, 931 for 2021 and 863 from January to the end of September 2022.
He explained 156 complaints were made about metering issues, billing 710, payments 158, quality of service provided 2,186, unlawful disconnection 29, consumer service delivery 32, damaged property 7 and 25 others.
Mr. Antwi stated GhC99,599.03 had been reimbursed as an adjustment to consumers by service providers from over-billing issues since the last four years of operation, explaining the adjustments (refund to consumers) were 29 in the three regions, seven from the GWCL and 22 from NEDCo.
He said the Sunyani Regional office through its activities, regulatory role and other interventions, had helped NEDCo to recover an amount of GhC25,166,787.43 within the four years of operation from consumers.
Mr Antwi explained the challenge associated with the work was about being the referee because “both the consumer and services providers think that we are on the side of the other party”.
He said the consumers sometimes felt they would either be threatened or victimised by the utility provider and ignored calls after making the complaints or denied making such complaints when the provider was in the process of attending to the issues raised.
Mr Antwi said through constant education and awareness creation the public was understanding that reporting a complaint to the PURC fell within their rights.
He announced the Sunyani Regional office was about to start a ”good customer service campaign” where the staff of the utility companies in the three regions would be trained on effective customer service delivery.