Palibe Zesco

Written By: The Lowdown - Jul• 01•13

‘Palibe Zesco’, said the call from home around 1 pm.


This is a regular occurrence and resulted in the inevitable call to Faults to report the outage.


However, when nearly two hours later someone responsible got home, it was Zesco installing a pre- paid meter, with no prior notification despite the fact that the Zesco web page clearly states that Zesco will communicate the implementation schedule for the different areas. No such notification was received and there was nothing on their webpage.


But what is worse is that it is now mid–afternoon and a call to the technician on site tells us “don’t worry, we give you 50 free units”. With six houses and a borehole which pumps water for all those houses, for a staff compound of about 200 people and water for livestock, fifty units are not sufficient to see us through the night.  If Zesco cared about the service they give to their customers, a review of our monthly electricity consumption over the last 38 years (or even the last few months) would have told Zesco this. Yet this was no concern to the technician – she would make an entry when she had finished so that our new account could be set up.


We finally solved the problem but only because of assistance from the manager at Zesco’s  Chudleigh offices and a lady at Crossroads who set up a temporary account for us to recharge the account to see us through the night. Thank you to both of them.


And no thanks to the technician who left the premises without having restored the power and who told us she would only come back after 6 pm. We did manage to restore the power ourselves, but the point is that the technicians should have done this before leaving the site. How does a technician who is even doing their job half properly not check that everything is in good working order before leaving!


Surely there must be a better way to dealing with the conversion to pre–paid meters. Advance notice is a must especially where households have generators which switch on automatically when the main power goes off. One would also think it is not that difficult to set up the pre–paid account in advance; after all Zesco do have all the details of the existing account to enable them to do this. But perhaps it is similar to the Faults office asking for directions to the premises each time one reports a fault. Do Zesco not have maps of where their installations are? Again, one would think so, but perhaps that is too logical.


Of course we could go on forever complaining about Zesco’s inadequacies or offering suggestions on how improvements could be made on their service delivery. The perception of their customer service is so bad that someone was even irate enough to set up a Facebook page called ‘Zesco Sucks’ (I kid you not). Perhaps we all need to accept that good customer service and just a basic respect for their customer’s does not seem to be a priority. Instead it is increasing tariffs to ensure more money in the pocket.

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