Delhi discom fined for bad customer behavior

Even before the privatization of power distribution in Delhi, there were plenty of complaints regarding shoddy customer behavior by the staff of the then Government electricity arm – DESU. It was expected that after the work was handed over to private companies, things would better. Some customers reported improved behavior, but there were still a large number of complaints that keep on coming in.
Consider the case of a customer who reports that the meter got burnt, but the private electricity company takes no action. Instead, much later, it accuses the customer of power theft, and hands over a whopping bill to the customer; and in the worst sort of behavior, threatens to use the powerful anti-theft bill to force the customer to make payment. It is only when the customer complained to the customer board that some positive action took place:

NEW DELHI: Pulling up BSES Yamuna for sending an unaccounted bill of Rs 1.5 lakh to a consumer, the state consumer commission has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 on the discom and also directed it to refund the bill amount to the complainant.
Justice Kapoor said: “On receiving the complaint, the discom should restore electricity immediately and ensure that necessary action is taken at the site. The burnt meter should be removed and tested to see the cause of the fire. A new meter should be provided within three days. Thereafter, a bill based on the estimated energy consumption pattern of 6 months prior to and 6 months after the period during which meter remained defective has to be raised.”

The basic problem remains that most of these companies are not geared to handle customer problems, and tend to be behave in a way that is not suited to handle the needs of customers. This was a customer who complained, but there will be thousands others who do not know how to complain and get pushed by the strong action of these companies.

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