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FTC rules out compensation

Shawn Cumberbatch

FTC rules out compensation
Some of the damage caused by Hurricane Elsa at the junction of Princess Royal Avenue and Collymore Rock, St Michael. (FILE)

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Barbados’ major utility companies whose ability to provide service was hampered by Hurricane Elsa will be exempt from paying customers compensation, says the Fair Trading Commission (FTC).

However, the FTC is warning the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P), Barbados Water Authority (BWA) and Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited (C&W) that they “are not allowed free reign and are still expected to restore service within the shortest possible time frame”.

The regulator has decided that the named utility companies, which have some Barbadians without service seven days after the storm damaged or destroyed hundreds of properties, qualify for a standards of service exemption in light of the force majeure circumstance – unforeseeable circumstances preventing fulfilment of a contract.

The FTC said in a statement that it regulates the quality of service provided by BL&P, BWA and C&W (which trades as Flow) via a Standards of Service framework.

It explained that the framework “holds the utilities to minimum standards of service provision and, in some cases, breaches of standards may lead to either compensation for individual customers, or penalties”.  (SC)

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