Reconnection fee is often wrongly charged
Stabroek News
February 1, 2002

Dear Editor,

A recent letter (l6.l.2002) told us about GPL customers being cut off even after having paid their bills. Not only is the letter true, in fact GPL is wrongly extracting huge sums from its customers. Here is one example:

A customer was regularly receiving estimated bills. Apparently, the estimates were low, so the difference mounted. When GPL finally got around to reading the meter, the bill came to more than $10,000. Without sending a bill to the customer, GPL disconnected just because the bill exceeded $10,000. The surprised customer thought it impossible that he could be disconnected, but after spending a half day at GPL, he (and they) recognized their folly. He was forced to pay a reconnection fee, and received the bill a week later. He would not have been reconnected without paying the reconnection fee. GPL kept his money. Since then they have changed this policy, but they have not refunded the immorally obtained reconnection fees.

Here is another example:

GPL sends a bill, which the customer promptly pays. One week later, they send another bill. The customer does not see this second bill. The customer also knows that the next bill is due about a month after the previous one. If he were a madman, he would keep checking with GPL, in the middle of the month, to see if they had sent a bill. Being sane, however, he began looking out for his bill when a month's period was about to pass. He was stunned when GPL disconnected. He could prove that he paid his bill in full less than a month ago. GPL, however, felt that their "sneaky" bill had to be paid whether someone received it or not. They can send the bill whenever they like, even a few days after the previous one, and if the customer does not see or receive the bill, the customer must divine a way to realize that such a bill has been sent. They demanded, and got, the reconnection fee (along with the billed sum).

Using these and other methods, GPL has extracted millions of extra dollars. Their recent increase in the reconnection fee could make it a real bonanza for them.

Yours faithfully,

Joseph A. Blair