PPC turning to communication officers for collection support

Troubled by its level of unpaid receivables, estimated at 2.3 billion euros, the main power utility PPC is planning to intensify the pressure on debtors by resorting to communication officers for support.

They are expected to advise the utility on the establishment of a team of telephone callers whose task will be to remind consumers of amounts owed and also apply pressure, as has become customary practice here for mobile telephony companies and banks seeking to collect overdue amounts for mobile telephone services and credit card debt.

Such enterprises are collaborating with law firms and collection companies as market trends have shown the mention of the word “lawyer” over the telephone usually jolts consumers into action to settle, or partially settle, debt. Market data indicates that roughly 30 percent of consumers behind on payments respond to such telephone-based pressure.

PPC seems to be preparing to adopt a similar strategy. The utility has just announced it will hire communication officers for guidance on initiatives needed to help the corporation collect unpaid receivables.

Besides advising on the pressure to be applied on debtors, these communication officers will also be expected to promote a positive image of PPC with the objective of stopping the outflow of customers to rival electricity suppliers.

However, this latest initiative by PPC does not seem to be taking into account the corporation’s bailout-related obligation of surrendering 25 percent of its retail market share by 2017 and 50 percent by 2020.