City Calls on Trash Collector to Fix Bills

The Phnom Penh municipality has called on Cintri, the private company that recently took over the city’s trash collection, to notify its customers about a mistake that has allegedly caused many people’s bills to be incorrect.

“Cintri made a mistake, so they must re-send the correct bill,” Phnom Penh Governor Chea So­phara said Tuesday.

Cintri Cambodia Ltd Opera­tions Manager Pascal Patrice said a computer glitch caused the problem in the bills for August, the company’s first month of service, which were issued early this month. Many residents complained about the incorrect bills, some of which were as high as $50 for a simple private residence.

Since the fees for the new trash service are listed on customers’ Electricite du Cambodge power bills, Cintri has stationed customer service representatives at the EdC payment center to deal with complaints, Patrice said.

Cintri has staked its success on the collaboration with EdC, which allows it to cut off power to customers who don’t pay their garbage fees. Several previous attempts to privatize trash collection failed because companies couldn’t collect the money they were owed.

Chea Sun Hel, director of the transmission and distribution department for EdC, said in this case the company will give customers a couple weeks more to pay because of the confusion over the botched first bill.

Cintri’s rates are graduated, with the basic charges set at $1 per month for a normal single-family house, $0.80 for apartments, and $5 for houses with small-scale commercial enterprises.

A 10 percent value-added tax is added to the charge because Cintri is a private company, not a state-owned enterprise like EdC.

 

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