Editor’s note: The Wyandotte Daily recently received a letter to the editor that addressed Don Gray, general manager of the Board of Public Utiltiies, about the power being turned off at a home. The writer of the letter, Patrick Carr, is asking those with similar experiences to write to him at email@example.com.
When I arrived home this evening (Oct. 11), my power was turned off. I called in a lights out report and received a call within a few minutes and was told my power was off for lack of payment. The individual was not able to restore power and gave me a number to call. He also explained there was a lot of people cut off today and I may be on hold for a while. I am set up on autopay and have been for years.
While on hold, I went on line to check the status of the account. I had not accessed the site online and it was necessary to establish a user name and password, etc. Once logged in the account was shown as delinquent with payment due Sept 20. It seems the utility did not process the autopay and is at fault. I have the receipt where the account was drafted August 20th. I received no notification by phone or mail that the account was delinquent. Regardless, it seems your policy would be to notify a customer for disconnecting.
I went through the process and made payment online, with a credit card and got the power restored the same evening so it turned out to be only an irritant and an inconvenience. I travel frequently for business and if I was out of town I would have returned to a mess due to the lack of refrigeration. For many having power is essential for health and comfort.
After the experience, I thought BPU must have a policy. It’s inconceivable that power would be disconnected after 20 days for non-payment from a customer with a long payment history without a late or missed payment EVER, and it’s more than a bit insulting. I looked on your site and with a search found some potential Q&As. Attached are the responses and the pages I was directed to. The links are dead.
I find it completely unacceptable for a business to act in this manner, particularly a monopolistic public utility. Had I been gone, the entire refrigerated product would have been lost. Many rely on power for medical support and all rely on power for comfort. It’s not like we can go to another supplier or make our own power.
As general manager of the utility I want to know what will be done so this doesn’t happen in the future. Please respond with your intentions and a copy of BPU’s disconnect for non-payment policy. How many homes were disconnected this month and, of those, how many had a good to excellent payment history? Also, please restore my autopay and credit all late fees.