City of Joburg shares solution for over charged bills

LIGHTS IN MOTION: City of Johannesburg says there is light at the end of an irregular electricity bill. Photo: Gopolang Chawane

THE City of Johannesburg has issued advice on how to escalate billing queries the correct way.

Many residents have contacted the COURIER complaining about their bill readings which appear to be unbelievably high.

The metro urged residents to report their queries to the relevant people to avoid lengthy unnecessary frustration.

Group Finance, a department to the city’s billing section, urged City of Johannesburg ratepayers to use appropriate channels when escalating unresolved billing queries.

The custodian of the city’s finances has devised a 30-day billing resolution process which should be followed by all customers to have their irregular bills rectified.

Group Finance said the city’s query escalation process was designed to assist ratepayers in logging and monitoring the resolution of their Joburg billing issues within 30 days of logging the complaint.

The process

The MMC for finance Dr Rabelani Dagada said there was a process to be followed when logging a billing query.

“When a billing query is logged, the city has 30 days to resolve it; there’s recourse if a customer’s query isn’t dealt with satisfactorily. Ratepayers shouldn’t opt for recourse before waiting out the required 30 days for the resolution of their Joburg bill.”

The city encouraged ratepayers to escalate their billing issues only if they were not addressed within the first 30 days of logging them.

“It’s important for all residents to first log a query for 30 days before escalating it; this helps us monitor performance,” said Dagada.

Each Joburg billing query needs to be first logged on the City’s SAP system before it can be resolved.

Dagada said ratepayers should familiarise themselves with the correct procedure to follow to ensure a complaint can be referred to the city’s VIP department.

“Ratepayers are encouraged to take up recourse to fix their municipal account if the incorrectly issued bill hasn’t been rectified within the initial 30 days of logging the complaint.”

The right to escalate query

Each ratepayer has the right to escalate their billing query if:

  • It is older than 30 days
  • Has a reference number older than 30 days
  • The customer needs to demonstrate that he/she has at least escalated the billing query to the line management of Customer Service Centres

Each queried account must have the following:

  • Account number
  • Reference number
  • Account holder’s name and surname
  • Contact details
  • Stand number
  • Area
  • Summary of complaint

Pay your account

There are over 40 000 Joburg billing queries the City is currently attending to and they are determined to clear the backlog.

Advice was given to residents to follow the correct process of logging their queries because if ratepayers bypassed the query logging system, the city was unable to measure the impact of the service it provided and was unable to measure efficiency.

The city’s ‘Back Office’ online service has been restored after a temporary glitch and ratepayers can email billing queries to: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected].

Ratepayers who have received incorrect bills can rest assured the City will resolve the issue said Dagada.

He urged those affected to continue paying their municipal accounts.

“If ratepayers receive incorrect bills, we urge them to pay what they normally do every month whilst they log a call with the city for a permanent resolution.”

He advised that neglecting to pay a municipal bill entirely was incorrect and would will leave ratepayers’ accounts in arrears.

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  AUTHOR
Gopolang Chawane

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