Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Letter of the Day | NWC mix-up a pain in the pocket

Published:Friday | January 11, 2019 | 12:00 AM


I made a conscious decision to invest in Jamaica and purchased a newly built apartment in Kingston and St Andrew. I make infrequent visits home, but when I do, I spend, at most, a week each time. I receive and use electronic payments for all my utility bills.

Three months after purchase, I noticed that the water bill was showing unusual usage each month even though no one was occupying the apartment.

I wrote to the NWC to share my concern and was told to have the apartment checked for leaks. That was done, but none was found. I communicated this to the NWC on October 2018.

Another month went by and the latest water bill received showed an even greater increase in usage. I had to travel to Jamaica - which cost me an unintended visit home - just to follow up on the issue.

On checking my water meter number against the lock-off for the apartment, it was discovered that another apartment had been assigned my lock-off. In fact, the meters issued in the complex were not connected to the right apartments, and residents were receiving each other's water bill.

How and why should this happen in a newly constructed complex? Are there no requirements for builders to have their plumbers work alongside the NWC when meters are being installed? Are there no inspectors who sign off on the readiness of the building (electricity, water, etc) before the handover?

Standards must be developed and complied with in the building and construction industry. All builders and contractors, big and small, should be on an approved list to which the general public has access. The incompetent need to be weeded out. This is just not good enough for investors.


Toronto, Canada