JPS meeting with customers about office closuresThursday, March 04, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) says it is continuing its series of virtual meetings with customers to discuss the planned closure of its customer service offices across the island.
The plan, which JPS announced in January, has been met with a lot if resistance.
Residents of Portmore have been particularly vocal in their objection to the company's decision to close its office in the Portmore Mall, the company noted in a statement today.
It said representatives from the company have had dialogue, including virtual meetings, with stakeholder groups in the community over the past few weeks and JPS executives have also spoken with Mayor of Portmore, Councillor Leon Thomas.
Another meeting is scheduled for this afternoon with Member of Parliament Fitz Jackson, JPS said.
In addressing the concerns of the residents of Portmore, Senior VP of Customer Services at JPS, Ramsay McDonald, said: “While we fully appreciate the concerns of the residents, our decision to close the office was made after careful consideration and observation of the changing behaviour of our customers.”
He added: “Over the past few years, customers have increased their use of online platforms to do regular transactions. This has led to a great reduction in visits to JPS' offices, especially within the last year, with less than five per cent of our customers in some parishes now coming in to do business with us in person. In fact, about 2,500 customers in Portmore out of roughly 52,000 have been coming in to that office each month, mainly to get bill balances and pay bills,” he pointed out.
“Customers visiting the office for bill payments can do so at even greater convenience at over 690 locations islandwide. Over 90 per cent of our customers currently utilise non JPS locations to make their payments.
“We appreciate in particular the concern of our senior customers, and we would like to assure them that we are still here for them,” McDonald said.
“The 24-hour call centre with which they are familiar, is equipped to facilitate all their queries and provide the support that they typically require. Additionally, representatives will continue their on-the-ground work of sensitising persons to use the online channels. For persons who prefer to make bill payments in person, this can be done at any of the outlets belonging to our payment partners.”
The JPS senior executive said the company is taking steps to ensure that the needs of its customers are met through other service channels.
“Because of the change in consumer behaviour, we are making sure that our customers can easily contact us using the multiple online platforms that have become increasingly popular,” he said.
“These include the new MyJPS Mobile App, which can be used to check bill balances, make payments, track energy usage, submit reports, and make service requests. In addition, the JPS Call Centre (888-CALL JPS), social media channels (@myjpsonline) and email facility (email@example.com) are still available to our customers 24 hours a day. JPS also has mobile offices that will make scheduled visits to different communities, where COVID-19 restrictions permit,” he explained.
JPS said it began phasing out face-to-face interactions in its customer service offices since September 2020.
Since then, all the company's customer service offices are closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays, with customers still having full access to bill payment facilities.
The offices to be closed as of next Monday are located in the parishes of St Catherine (Portmore), Clarendon, St Elizabeth, Westmoreland, St Mary, St Thomas, and Kingston (East Parade).
JPS said the Bill Express payment facilities and the courtesy phones to call the JPS Call Centre will still be available in these offices up to April 1.
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