Monday, March 14, 2016

Sri Lankan consumers demand more responsive electricity utilities

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan customers of two electricity distributors demanded at a consumer rights forum that the institutions be more responsive during power failures and keep customers better informed when power would be restored.

The call came the day after Sri Lanka suffered two islandwide power failures with demand for electricity hitting an all-time high the week before.

It was the third islandwide power failure in six months and the cause is being investigated with the government deploying the army to guard power installations to prevent sabotage.

Consumer rights activists at the forum organized by Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka targeting the World Consumer Rights Day which falls on 15th of March said modern technology like mobile phones allows utilities to easily keep customers informed about power failures.

Representative from the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (Private) Limited (LECO) present at the forum said their call centres were overwhelmed by the flood of calls when power failed Sunday and could not cope.

“When we get hundreds of thousands of calls even the phone companies could not cope,” said Bandula Thilakasena, Additional General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity Board.

“The CEB call centres can handle the queries during normal times.” 

He said the CEB intends to introduce measures to keep customers better informed during power cuts in future.

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