URCA takes consumer protection to Eleuthera

The Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) is planning to take its consumer protection message to Eleuthera and Grand Bahama residents this month.

The supervisory body, in a statement issued yesterday, said it will return to the latter island this month as well as holding two “pop-up office” and Town Hall events on Eleuthera on February 19.

It said the meetings will focus on issues ranging from ensuring access to, and participation in, URCA’s regulated sectors; consultation on proposed new consumer protection regulations for electricity consumers; and revised regulations for telecommunications consumers to cover Internet, fixed and mobile phones, and Pay TV or cable consumers.

“Our mission is to ensure that Bahamians understand the role that URCA plays in ensuring their rights are protected,” said URCA’s corporate and consumer relations manager, Mavis Johnson Collie. “We want business persons and everyday consumers to know that we are here to protect their interests and regulate services they are paying for.”

Starting at St Patrick’s Parish Hall in Governor’s Harbour, the morning “pop-up” office will allow one-on-one meetings with URCA executives. Then, at 6.30 pm, URCA’s team will host an open forum for all residents before travellking to the South Eleuthera Mission in Rock Sound for a similar agenda.

“We’re hoping for widespread participation,” said Ms Johnson-Collie. We’ve planned a very informative session for all our participants, and will provide light refreshments for everyone that attends. We want residents to come prepared to ask questions and be fully engaged in the conversations.”

Ahead of the Eleuthera meetings, URCA representatives will be returning to Grand Bahama for a second series of “pop-up” meetings this year at the GB Chamber of Commerce. “In planning these meetings, we wanted to craft multiple opportunities for residents to engage with us in ways that were most convenient for them,” Ms Johnson-Collie explained.

Residents will get the chance to ask questions and also formally lodge specific complaints. “Our unplugged sessions on Grand Bahama will take place on February 17-18 at Solomon’s and Cost Right, respectively,” she said. “We’re hoping our presence in these high-density locations will encourage residents to talk to us about the issues they may be facing about services in the two regulated sectors.”