THE country’s fixed telephone operator, TelOne, has intensified its efforts to recover over US$300 million owed by customers countrywide.
REPORT BY MUSA DUBE
In Bulawayo, the company has been moving door to door to companies and individuals to recover the money.
The company has since engaged its credit control department, which manages debt and collection of outstanding debts from clients, to recover the money.
TelOne’s chief executive officer, Chipo Mtasa said the company had launched the campaign to force clients to settle outstanding amounts, as well as negotiating payment plans.
“TelOne wishes to advise its clients that our credit control team will be conducting client premises visits to all clients with outstanding telecommunications services bills from August 20-22 2013,” said Mtasa.
“The Debt Collection Campaign is a nationwide campaign aimed at bolstering efforts by the Credit Control Department. We are aiming at re-covering US$50 million from debtors during the next quarter,” said Mtasa.
She advised clients to visit the department and negotiate or arrange for an acceptable payment plan in order to clear their outstanding bills.
“This will help the company with the much-needed working capital to fund network expansion projects that will see TelOne deliver more products and services,” Mtasa said. “TelOne will follow normal legal procedures and enforce legal action where it is due.”
TelOne has come up with a stop order arrangement with the Public Service Commission, to allow civil servants to settle their telephone debts.
However, some subscribers are querying the amounts.
TelOne is one of the 10 parastatals earmarked for restructuring by the government to bring in a new partner. The company is faced with numerous challenges, chief among them the lack of capital, shortage of skilled human capital and rundown infrastructure.
GOVT SHOULD SCRAP OFF TELONE DEBT — CUSTOMER
Rosemary Moyo who owes TelOne US$2 000 in telephone bills said she is failing to pay the money.
“I owe TelOne US$2 114 and I don’t know how they arrived at the figure because the debt started when we were still using the Zimbabwe dollar.
The money is too much for me, I can’t afford to pay it. I think the government should just scrap off the debt like they did with water debts,” said Moyo.