Public sensitisation is good but KPLC needs to rein in their rogue staff

National Electric power distributor Kenya Power has stepped up public awareness campaigns geared at raising awareness on billing process, as well as combating fraud and enhancing customer satisfaction. 

In an elaborate communication campaign, the Company is seeking to enhance awareness on the firm’s official payment platforms and customer service interaction channels.

According to the Company’s acting managing director and CEO Eng. Jared Othieno, the twin campaigns, across various media platforms, will be used as an anti-fraud deterrent effort to mitigate losses by the firm and its customers.

The campaigns dubbed: Power Sawa and Usichezwe na conmen will provide much-needed customer sensitization on the need to use official Kenya Power payment and customer engagement channels.

“We are aware of the challenges faced by our consumers and the mutual losses we have faced due to fraudulent activities. These campaigns will, therefore, provide a sensitization platform to enable us to mitigate the risks associated with fraud and other irregularities as part of our corporate revenue assurance and superior customer service delivery endeavours,” Eng. Othieno said.

The Power Sawa campaign, he added, will provide public education of topics such as the economic value of electricity, billing processes and customer connection services. The Usichezwe na conmen campaign will also highlight the company’s official payment channels for both pre-paid and post-paid customers. 

In the recent past, the Company has undertaken several initiatives to improve business operations which include the billing process. Alignment of meters to the respective electricity distribution feeder lines to reduce energy losses and improve operational efficiency is one of these initiatives. Others include digitisation of the Kenya Power infrastructural assets in the Company’s information technology system and upgrading of its customer service management system.

“The Company has rolled out a system that works for the customers, and that starts by sensitising them on the billing process,” said Eng. Othieno adding, “We continually strive to enhance our operational and technical efficiency by adopting technological innovations aimed at improving business operations and customer experience.”

The campaign will also educate the public on how to protect themselves from fraudsters. One of the most common types of scams involves customers receiving an unsolicited phone call, electronic, or in-person communications by an individual claiming to represent the Company. The scammer states that they can receive a discount on their power service or their service will be disconnected if payment is not made immediately.

The public are encouraged to report instances of fraud to the police.

It is public knowledge, however, that it is rogue employees of the power company execute these con games on the public. In the alternative, cons collude with Kenya Power insiders to rob members of the public. A stranger with no help from an insider would never successfully defraud power users and while these latest efforts by Kenya power to rope in the public in the fight against fraud is welcome, the company needs to look inward as well if they are achieve any tangible results.

Besides sealing the loopholes exploited by their employees to con customers, the company should make it dearly painful for her employees found to have engaged in fraudulent acts that rob clients.