Consumer Rights: Electricity and Power Provision – The Case of RMA Liberia and SDMO Generator

By Ezekiel Pajibo

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia
August 23, 2012

In January 2012 or thereabout, I bought two generators from RMA Liberia: one for my office and one for my home. A compelling reason for the purchase was the fact that RMA Liberia offered a service contract; each time I had a generator hiccup, their technicians would come and attend to it. The generator for my house, reportedly a 5KVA, proved to be a lemon. Since its purchase, at least one dozen services have been performed. I have paid about a third of the purchasing price just to have the generator running between January and July. In my house the generator only powers light, a mini refrigerator and two fans. I have stopped using the pressing iron since the 5KVA generator would grunt and grunt to power it. Indeed, because of my work schedule, which includes lots of travel, the generator in question, has been used fairly sparely. Perhaps between January and July, I have travelled for two months; meaning that the generator was not being used during that period. In essence I have only used the generator for a period of six months or less. In addition, and during the last period of services, the generator may have been under service for an approximate period of one week. In other words, when they came to service the generator, it would take about a week before I would be able to use it again. All this time, I would be sulking in the dark and cursing the day I decided to come back home to work.

RMA Liberia has proven its contempt for its clients, is crass about its services and believes that somehow it has no responsibility for the products it provide to its Liberian consumers. What is more, it charges exorbitantly for parts and products it claims it requires during repair. At one point, I was charged US10 for a gallon of petrol (gas). When I contested the cost, I was informed that it was a mistake and I was charged US $5.00 (at the time the exchange rate was about L$74; when you do the math that would equal to L$370 when the price at the pump was L$350 or less) . I have been charged for transportation at a cost that was more than the part being transported. I have been lied to over and over again about the time it would take to repair the generator. As a result I have not only lost productivity in terms of work output by my staff, I have incurred additional costs to make up for the lack of electricity at my place of work and at my home. None of this matters to the RMA Liberia management. All they appear to be interested in is to take consumers’ money and neglect to attend to the services and products they provide. They do this without any concern about probable sanctions. As far as I am concern this is day light robbery, committed by a company legally operating in Liberia. There are no protections, of which I am aware, about how to make entity like, RMA Liberia and the SDMO generator provider responsible to its clients and consumers get value for their money.

Next time you hear that Monrovia is an expensive city, it is the likes of RMA Liberia that contributes to that stark reality. The cost of electricity to the ordinary Liberian persons, and even those who can afford it is, as the Nigerian would say “an abomination” . RMA Liberia and the provider of the SDMO generators have a case to answer to their clients for the provision of poor services and sub-standard products to its clients and its Liberian consumers. This must stop! Where is our Government that should be protecting us from these leeches?

© 2012 by The Perspective
To Submit article for publication, go to the following URL: