Some mobile money vendors in Bankuman in Tema Manhean are allegedly using the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG) mobile app to extort monies from unsuspecting customers.
Scores of residents disclosed this to ECG officials from the Tema main and Tema South District offices during a community engagement to address safety issues and related power matters.
“When we are going to buy the power, we are required to add some amount of money as their charge; for instance, if I am buying ¢50 prepaid units, I will add at least ¢2,” a resident said.
They indicated that the momo vendors do not issue them with receipts as they write the token number on papers to enter on their cloud metre remotes if the recharge did not automatically appear on the meter as expected.
Some indicated that they thought the power tariffs were increased due to the rate at which their power was consumed, while others blamed the installation of the new cloud metres as they claimed they were buying more power than they used to.
The ECG officials, however, through further questioning, realised that the momo vendors who have not authorized vendors of the company were shortchanging them as the residents appeared ignorant and would not demand a receipt or check the amount that was loaded.
Marketing Officer of ECG Tema Regional Office, Ruhiya Fuseini, assured the residents that the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC) had not increased tariff neither the cloud metres were the cause of the running out of their units.
Madam Ruhiya explained that ECG only deducted the required service charges during the first purchase of each monthly, adding that the service per month for residential meters was ¢7.46.
She assured the ECG would investigate and bring to book such unauthorized vendors and advise customers to buy from only accredited vendors and demand for their receipt to ensure that they received the required power equivalent of what they purchased.
She also urged them to download the ECG app on their phones does the online purchase themselves to avoid such extortions, which were only enriching the vendors’.
The ECG Tema South District Engineer, Christopher Apawu, said the engagement was necessitated due to some safety issues recorded in the area. Even though clients used electrical power, some did not know the consequences of tampering with them their equipment.
He cautioned residents against transmitting electricity from their premises to others as that constituted an illegal connection, adding that it was also unacceptable for residents to remove meters from one location to the other.
He said when relocating after buying a meter, they must contact the ECG for the necessary arrangement.