PPC considers hiring collection agencies to find missing clients

Main power utility PPC is considering appointing collection agencies for a second time to take on as many as 100,000 cases concerning abandoned electricity bill amounts linked to clients who cannot be located.

PPC had first resorted to this tactic in 2014 in a bid to tackle its unpaid receivables problem, beginning with 10,000 cases in the wider Athens area, before the campaign was broadened to various parts of provincial Greece. The initiative, still in progress, has failed to produce desired results.

Just two percent of unpaid receivables investigated during the first round of collection agency work has been collected in the Athens area.

The challenging task involves detective-type work. If appointed, collection agency officials will seek to collect unpaid electricity bill amounts from enterprises that have gone out of business, people who have relocated to new and unknown addresses, and, in some cases, vanished clients who have remained under the radar as their electricity connections had remained registered under the names of previous property owners. PPC includes these cases in its unpaid receivables category. They concern over half of the cases PPC wants investigated.

Individuals who have moved to unknown addresses and cannot be located by PPC for debt settlement most probably face wider debt problems and, besides the utility, also owe amounts to the tax department, banks and social security funds. This boils down to meaning that PPC would be the last in line to seek debt recovery whenever such individuals are located.

Despite the obvious difficulties, PPC, burdened by severe cash flow problems, is seeking to employ collection agencies for the task.