Outreach

How to make a Complaint

A guide for electricity and water consumers

The Regulated Industries Commission (RIC) is an independent consumer-oriented body that is concerned with protecting the interests of consumers. As part of our mandate the RIC wishes to empower consumers with the knowledge and confidence needed to be able to resolve complaints directly with the Service Providers i.e. T&TEC, WASA.
The RIC provides free impartial information and advice to all electricity and water consumers and acts as a neutral third party or mediator to those who have been unable to obtain redress or those who are dissatisfied with the decision of the Service Provider.

Who do I contact first?

As a consumer, you have the right to obtain a high standard of service quality from the utility companies. If you have a complaint, you must first make contact with the Service Provider and give them the opportunity to resolve the problem.

How do I sort out problems with the Service Provider?

You must first contact your Service Provider and explain that you wish to make a complaint. You can do this in a number of ways:

  • In writing
  • In person
  • By telephone
  • By email

All service providers have clear procedures for dealing with complaints and you should follow these as far as possible.
If you are complaining by phone:

  • Make a note of what you want to say before you call;
  • Be clear about how you want the problem to be sorted out;
  • Have any relevant documents on hand – such as bills or letters from your service provider;
  • Have a notebook ready and write down the name of the person you speak to, the date and time of day and what was said; and
  • If you complain by phone, you should try to follow up your call with a letter, especially if your complaint is serious.

If you are complaining by letter or email or via the Internet:

  • Call your service provider and find out who you should address your complaint to;
  • Ensure you explain the problem fully in your letter including key dates and times of the incidents;
  • Enclose copies of evidence that support your complaint, such as receipts, letters, bills and photos, if possible;
  • Include your name, address and account number in your letter, so that your service provider can respond to you; and
  • Include a telephone number, if possible, so that your Service Provider can contact you for further information if required.

When making a complaint:

  • Make copies of any document you send to your service provider. DO NOT send originals;
  • Take meter readings, particularly if your complaint concerns your billing or supply, make a note of the date the readings were taken;
  • Make notes of who you have spoken, or written to, and when, so that you can refer to them; and
  • Keep copies of correspondence sent to you by your Service Provider so that you can refer to them.

How to write a Complaint Letter

In addition to information shared above, when writing a complaint letter, there are some other basic guidelines that you need to follow:

  • State the problem and provide information with respect to date, time, bill account number etc;
  • Explain the problem specifically e.g. “I was billed the wrong amount”;
  • Detail personal inconvenience experienced. E.g. injury, expense, distress etc.; and
  • Identify the specific action you want e.g. credit, compensation etc.

When requesting compensation:

As a consumer you have the right to a high standard of service quality from the utility providers, and in instances of breaches in established standards, you may be entitled to a compensatory payment from the service provider.

If you are requesting compensation:

  • Include your compensation request in your original complaint;
  • Indicate what compensation you are seeking and why;
  • Ensure your request is reasonable in light of the problem you have experienced;
  • Send any evidence you may have to support your request such as copies of receipts, letters or bills; and
  • Explain fully how the problem you have experienced has affected you. Has it caused you distress, inconvenience, injury, or cost you money?

What to do if the Service Provider fails to resolve the complaint:

If your Service Provider fails to resolve the complaint in the timeframe indicated in the RIC’s Quality of Service Standard, or you are not satisfied with the action the Service Provider has taken, you can contact the RIC for further assistance in resolving your complaint.

What types of complaints can the RIC help to resolve?

The RIC can assist consumers in resolving complaints or issues in the following instances:

T&TEC WASA
  • Billing Query
  • Damaged Appliance
  • Damage to Property
  • Defective Street Lights
  • Disconnection / Reconnection
  • Low Voltage / Voltage Fluctuations
  • Malfunctioning / Broken Meter
  • Breach of Guaranteed Electricity Standards
  • Tree Trimming / Vegetation Management
  • Removal/Relocation of Lines
  • Request for Service
  • Rotten / Leaning / Broken / Termite-Infested Poles
  • Billing Query
  • Damage to Property
  • Disconnection / Reconnection
  • Erratic Scheduled Supply
  • Illegal Connection
  • Inaccurate annual taxable value of the property
  • Lack of Pipe-Borne Supply
  • Leaks
  • Low Water Pressure
  • Poor Water Quality
  • Request for Service
  • Request For Truck-Borne Supply
  • Retroactive Billing Adjustment
  • Road Restoration

If you have a complaint that fits any of the mentioned descriptions and you have already contacted the service provider to no avail, the RIC can offer assistance.

How will the RIC handle my complaint?

The Customer Service Department will conduct an investigation to obtain all the necessary facts both from you and the Service Provider. Copies of all relevant information that would assist the RIC staff in understanding the complaint should be provided.

We will forward our response to your complaint to the Service Provider and then inform you of the action taken to resolve the complaint. We will also keep you up-to-date on the progress of our investigation of your complaint and its resolution.

RIC’s Guarantee to you.

  • Response to your written, telephone and email complaints within ten (10) working days of receipt.
  • Response to Overnight Messages and Contact Information within one (1) working day
  • Ten (10) minute Maximum waiting period for all appointments with CSRs.
  • Free services, with the exception of printed material.

The RIC is committed to helping consumers become better informed and more confident on a range of issues that affect them. If you need advice or assistance please contact us at:

Telephone: 800-4RIC (4742) – Toll Free
Fax: 624-2027
Email: complaints@ric.org.tt
Online Complaints Form
Website: www.ric.org.tt
Post: P.O. Box 1001
Address: 1st & 3rd Floors, Furness House
Cor. Wrightson Road & Independence Square
Port-Of-Spain.

The Service Providers can be contacted during the hours of 8:00am – 4:00pm on:

800-4420/6- WASA
800-8832 – T&TEC
624-0383/4 – POWERGEN
679-4542 – TRINITY POWER