Electricite Du Laos (EDL) has opened a larger call centre with the phone number 1199 so that consumers can make complaints or recommendations regarding the company’s operations.
According to a notice issued by EDL, the call centre was previously operational but could only accept one call. As of December 1 the service has been extended and the centre can now receive 10 calls simultaneously.
EDL encourages the public to comment on matters such as billing errors, fires, the service provided by officials, and any other issues.
Services have improved after a large number of complaints were lodged in May and June about mistakes in electricity bills.
In a similar move, last month the government also provided a telephone hotline number (1516) so that members of the public could make suggestions regarding government performance.
In a notice to announce the hotline, the Prime Minister’s Office said it was provided on the advice of Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.
Observers welcomed the move, but said it was equally important to ensure that the issues people raised are taken seriously and addressed in a timely and efficient manner.
Several state bodies currently operate hotlines, encouraging citizens to voice their concerns and seek explanations and solutions from the relevant bodies.
A few years ago, the National Assembly launched its own hotline (156), which operates during ordinary sessions twice a year.
The hotline has received upwards of 1,000 calls during debate sessions, following which the Assembly invites the agencies responsible to clarify the issues raised by callers.
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Mr Sommad Pholsena, said his ministry is also setting up a hotline (1514), which will be operational soon so that people can directly raise concerns relating to the operations of the ministry.
Ms Khemmani, from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, also said in June that the ministry had opened a hotline (1510) to enable members of the public to inform them about trade-related issues.
Since June, at least 62 calls have been made informing the ministry about problems ranging from the sale of out-of-date foods, unreasonably high electricity bills, public transport scams, and internet problems.
In addition, the Ministry of Public Security opened a hotline (1191) in August as part of the Police Command Centre Project. It enables callers to inform police about crimes and other social issues, thereby easing the process of investigation and more efficiently addressing security issues.
People who want to report an emergency or are in need of assistance from the police can call the hotline free of charge.
Source: Vientiane Times