'Pay for it or lose it', NWC warns

'Pay for it or lose it', NWC warns

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Water Commission (NWC) is now enforcing a massive and widespread disconnection drive to collect outstanding payments from customers who have arrears with the utility company.

Earlier this year, the NWC had made offers to delinquent customers to settle their arrears under the COVID Assistance Programme (CAP). Under this arrangement, residential customers were offered a 30 per cent discount to settle their debt. The commission said the CAP for residential customers was extended after it was running for three months.

The NWC noted further that commercial customers were also offered a 25 per cent discount to settle outstanding payments. The commission said it had also taken the decision not to disconnect water supply during the initial period of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the commission said prudent business practices now dictate that it ensures that delinquent customers who refuse to settle their debt come forward and honour their obligations.

The company noted that based on its records, some customers are abusive of their arrangements, in that they rack up huge bills, use excessive water, and refuse to engage the commercial department to work out a payment plan.

Such situations must now be urgently addressed if the entity is to remain viable and provide a product and services that are crucial to the livelihood of the Jamaican people, the NWC said.

Meanwhile, the commission urged customers that non-payment of their bills could affect their credit ratings. It said that as of December 1, the company is empowered by law to provide credit information on its customers if such information is requested by business entities.

The commission also reminded customers to monitor their consumption patterns and check for leaks especially during the Christmas period, not to waste water, and to avoid high bills.

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