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    The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has launched a Jingle Competition aimed at raising awareness about the entity’s existing Guaranteed Standards.

    These are quality of service standards to which utility companies are held accountable. Deputy Director General at the OUR, Cheryl Lewis, said the competition, dubbed the GS Jingle Competition, forms part of the entity’s mandate of protecting consumers.

    “The Guaranteed Standards are really very important to the OUR and to the customers of utility service providers. Several years ago, the OUR developed the Guaranteed Standards for the two major utility companies, the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited and the National Water Commission. This was to ensure that service providers are held accountable to deliver high-quality service standards to customers,” Ms. Lewis said.

    She was speaking at the OUR’s Guaranteed Standards Jingle Competition 2020 Launch & Creative Workshop, held on November 1 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

    Ms. Lewis also noted that with the advent of new players, primarily in the water and sewerage sectors, Guaranteed Standards were also developed for small private water providers.

    “Roughly every 18 months, the OUR conducts its National Customer Satisfaction Survey. Data from the last three customer satisfaction surveys indicated that the awareness of the Guaranteed Standards by residential and business customers remains limited,” she said.

    Ms. Lewis pointed out that the OUR is seeking to change this and one of the ways will be through the jingle competition. “We want to tap into, harness and capture the best of the Jamaican creative talents that are out there.

    We are hoping that there is high energy and enthusiasm in response to the competition. So, we are looking forward to some really good jingles. We want to get persons engaged and assist them to become more aware of the guaranteed standards, so that if they get their bills late, they know that they ought to be compensated and to hold the companies accountable for these standards,” she said.

    Any breach of the standards will attract monetary compensation to affected customers. Compensation is added as a credit to customers’ bills.

    Meanwhile, participants who attended today’s workshop – virtually and in person – benefited from presentations on how best to craft a jingle as well as the guidelines for entering.

    Attorney-at-law and in-house Counsel at the OUR, Wayne McGregor, outlined the rules and guidelines of the competition.

    “The jingle must be appropriate and should resonate with the OUR’s audiences – stakeholders, utility providers and consumers – incorporating relevant elements such as original lyrics, melody, and rhythm. There are two categories. Category one is open to all Jamaicans 20 years and over. Category two is open to students in registered secondary schools who are members of music clubs, and are between 12 and 19 years old,” Mr. McGregor said.

    The competition closes on January 29, 2021 with the winner to be announced in April 2021. Interested persons can submit pieces no longer than one minute, and direct queries to gsjingle@gmail.com.

    For the full list of rules, details and general resource information, including entry forms, persons can visit our.org.jm.

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