The Guyana Water Incorporated today said that it will remove the entire service of delinquent customers in a move to reverse a decline in revenue collection.
According to Customer Services Manager Jeanette Thomas, in a GWI press release, while the disconnection campaign launched in June 2013 initially saw a good response from customers, the utility has been experiencing a drop in revenues since October.
“Customers in particular areas simply refuse to respond to our appeals despite the fact that they are receiving excellent service,” stated Thomas in the press release. She added “we are now forced to remove the entire service of customers who have not made any payments or attempted to resolve their debt with the utility company.”
Thomas added that GWI launched several initiatives to recover outstanding debts including ‘Wallet-friendly Payment Plans’ which enabled customers to pay their debt in small, flexible amounts.
Thomas added “we visited communities in Mahaicony, Timehri, Buxton, Annandale and Enterprise East Coast Demerara; unfortunately the response was poor in some communities and will be forced to remove the entire service of these customers who refuse to make any payments.”
GWI Executive Director of Finance, Jaigopaul Ram, stated in the press release that “more than 50% of our customer database is in debt and we are forced to take this action because our energy costs continue to increase; we have expanded water service on the East Coast of Demerara and improved our service in Georgetown, East Bank of Demerara and Bartica which has increased electricity costs. We cannot continue to provide water service at such high costs and not receive adequate revenues from our customers”.
The release said that GWI had also offered waivers to disconnected customers and customers with large arrears but this yielded minimal results. Stated GWI’s Customer Services Manager, “we have no option but to disconnect our customers, remove their entire service and have them start the process of registering for a new service again”.
Thomas warned that disconnected customers would be required to visit the nearest GWI branch to register for a new service along with paying the necessary penalties including disconnection fees. “GWI contractors and water service inspectors will be policing communities to ensure that disconnected customers do not illegally reconnect their service or tamper with GWI’s system”, stated the GWI Manager, “once disconnected, GWI contractors will return all equipment including service connections and saddles to the company; customers will not receive a new service until they have paid and registered for a new service, paid all outstanding debt or signed a payment contract”.
Thomas stated that GWI contractors have mobilized for the country-wide service removal as of Monday November 18; GWI Water Service Inspectors will be visiting disconnected customers to inspect for illegal activities or tampering.
To avoid the removal of their entire service, GWI customers with arrears can query their bills via 227-8701/03 or 04, send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org; visit GWI’s social media page at www.facebook.com/everydropcountsgy or send a message via Blackberry Messenger on 296185F9