On the 27th of March, we got a message from a Lady regarding crazy estimated bills she receives from Ikeja Electric, over 20k for her small Office. She shared the bill with a neighbour. It didn’t make sense given the nature of her Business. So we asked her to email our organization Citizens Connect so that we can support in addressing the issue. To cut the long story short, IKEDC wrote to her to confirm that they will adjust her bills. We have her permission to share her experience.
She previously wrote IKEDC and reported to the marketer in the area about the crazy estimated bills. When she contacted us, we asked her to send a complaint and copy the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission in her complaint. According to her, it worked like magic, they started emailing and calling her to address the issue. They came back with a gibberish which suggested that her bill is within the normal charges for her area.
We didn’t stop there, this time we escalated the issue to the MD of IKEDC. He responded to her complaint and sent a team to investigate the estimated bill. She was being billed for 732Kwh, their investigation showed that her average monthly consumption is 446Kwh. ( her office shares this bill with a residential and neighbour). So yesterday she sent me the outcome of the investigation, her bill of 77k accumulated from December to March will be adjusted to reflect the energy consumed.
By the way, her landlord and neighbor didn’t believe it will work, they kept putting pressure on her to pay something. I told her to wait for the final outcome. When they threatened to disconnect her light she simply told them it was being investigated and they left. She reported to the MD on the 11th of April by the 24th she got a positive outcome.
I must commend her patience and resilience, most people who come to us for this kind of complaint don’t follow through the process, after the first email they give up, some end up settling the marketers Or go into another rip off arrangement. When you contact them to ask how far they have gone, you hear things like I just gave up and gave them what they want.
What we simply do is point consumers to the NERC regulations on how to deal with estimated Bills. We ask them to first contact the disco, most times Discos delay and don’t reply. Next, we ask them to send an email copying NERC. Most times immediately the see NERC in copy they respond. If the response doesn’t show a thorough investigation before coming to a conclusion, escalate to the management of the disco to ensure that an independent investigation is done as some marketers try to cover sharp practice. In the event that the management doesn’t act then take the matter to NERC Forum in your area. All these processes I have described looks like a forever process, in the end, you will get a result and save money.
See Screenshots 👇 for the recommendation for adjustment on estimated billing when she escalated the issue to the MD of Ikeja Electric and the initial unhelpful response from the customer service.
Let’s keep demanding for effective service delivery, that’s the only way we can end this culture of rip-off.