Claims made by the PSPCL that its online portal for payment of power bills is a hit seem to have fallen flat.
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited's (PSPCL's) server for the bill payment facility at its office has been hit by a technical snag that has not been repaired since Friday, bringing miseries to consumers who had been relying on the option for the payment of their bills.
The screen at the counter for online payments has been popping with a message saying that the service is 'out of order'. "I have been going to pay my electricity bill ever day. But, every time, I have been told that the server is not working," said Khirati Lal, a resident of Kharuya Kothi.
Surinder Kumar, a resident of Shivpuri, said that it was not the first time that customers were being hassled like this: "Whenever the last date to pay power bill nears, the server crashes. Thereafter, the PSPCL charges the penalty for late payment."
The problem may not end as the contract with 'Tulip', the Delhi-based company that is managing the server, has been terminated. "The company has not repaired it as PSPCL had terminated the contract with it because of some financial irregularities in the firm. We have requested the PSPCL headquarters in Patiala to give us the rights to manage the server for Ludhiana on our own," said Trilok Singh, PSPCL deputy chief engineer of Ludhiana.
He added that the facility would be repaired soon, as senior officials of the PSPCL had stepped in. Meanwhile, at many billing counters at the PSPCL office, many consumers described the technical fault as a failure of the PSPCL, saying that its officials had been making false claims about the service.
Many consumers who are using their credit or debit cards to make payments online have also claimed that the server was taking to time to accept payments. "My kids tried to pay the bill online as the facility at PSPCL was not working. It took us around four hours to pay the bill using the PSPCL website," Krishna Sharma said.