Discos Receive 407,622 Customer Complaints in Six Months

Electricity distribution companies in the country received a total of 407,622 complaints from their customers in the first half of 2020, the latest data from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission have shown.

Customers of the 11 Discos lodged 204,506 complaints in the first quarter of 2020 and 203,116 complaints in Q2, indicating an average of more than 2,200 complaints per day, according to NERC.

Enugu Disco received the highest number of customer complaints during Q2, while Yola Disco got the lowest.

“It is noteworthy that both Enugu and Yola have consistently recorded the highest and the least customer complaints respectively since the second quarter of 2019,” the regulator said.

It said the Discos’ customer complaints centred on service interruption, poor voltage, load shedding, metering, estimated billing, disconnection, delayed connection, among others.

“The number of complaints on metering and billing increased and still dominates the customer complaints during the quarter under review,” NERC added.

According to the commission, metering and billing accounted for 44.51 per cent (i.e., 90,408) of the total complaints received during Q2 2020 as against 42.96 per cent (i.e., 87,854) recorded in the preceding quarter.

It said, “Another issue of serious concern to customers is service interruption and disconnection which respectively account for 20.37 per cent (41,381) and 10.55 per cent (21,427) of the total customer complaints during the quarter.

NERC said it had been implementing some of the recommendations from the review of the Discos’ compliance with service standards conducted in 2018.

According to the report, the commission is strictly monitoring the Discos’ compliance to its directive on monthly submission of their customers’ complaints reports to ensure timely regulatory interventions when necessary.

The commission said it had also commenced the review of its strategy of monitoring Discos’ customers’ complaint handling and resolution process with a view to further improve its regulatory oversights on Discos’ handling of customer complaints.

It said, “This includes, but not limited to, the review of the operation of the commission’s Forum Offices, which are set up to redress the customers’ complaints that are not adequately resolved by the Discos.

Similar to the category of complaints received by the Discos, billing issue topped the complaints received by the Forum Offices, accounting for 41.95 per cent of the total.”

NERC said this implied that billing issue was mostly the complaint not satisfactorily resolved by Discos’ customer care units.

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