Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Rant if You Please

I paid our store power bill at the bank as usual in April. The May bill did not reflect the payment so I queried the Power Company and they said they had received no payment in April. I got out my records, found the receipt of payment and faxed it to them. Whatever they said, we did not get the money go to your bank and find out what happened. OK, I thought but upon reflection I thought they could liaise with the bank, they had all the required paper work etc so I asked them to handle it as I was the customer and I had paid the bill. Meanwhile we are getting collection notices even though our bill is completely up to date except for the missing April payment. We got a phone call from the power company that said the bank had sent them a letter saying we did indeed pay the bill but an error occurred and they would solve the problem in due time. We got another collection letter from the power company. We got a hand delivered cut off notice from the power company. Of course I called and the gist of the conversation was this: We, the power company, don't give a crap why we didn't get the money or whose fault it is, send the money by tomorrow or we will cut off your power. I produced all the receipts and correspondence from the bank and they said: We, the power company, don't give a crap why we didn't get the money, send the money by tomorrow or we will cut off your power. I explained the situation again and again as I went up the food chain at the power company until I reached the prime customer service person who said: We, the power company, don't give a crap why we didn't get the money, send the money by tomorrow or we will cut off your power. Did I mention that our bill is completely up to date except for this missing payment. I called the bank who told me the money was wrongly sent to Revenue Canada and they were doing their best to get it back. Good luck with that I thought. Once again I called the power company etc etc. The bank, realizing my power was in jeopardy actually paid the bill for me and said they would recover the money from Revenue Canada at a later date. Thank you Royal Bank, actual service. Newfoundland Power is run by people who have no idea what customer service is about and frankly I think they are not very bright (no pun intended) This is what happens when there is a monopoly. If I could choose another power option they might be forced to treat me with a little respect.


  1. We have the same problem in our area with AT&T - the absolute worst customer service people in the world!!! They have cut our internet service off twice in two years - and never admitted it was their fault. Our phone off one time - it was a "slight problem in the office". But of course no apology. We have also had problems at home. Also a monopoly. My husband thinks his picture at every customer service desk and when they find out who is calling they automatically shut something off!! We also got a call from a collection agency for a Dish Network bill(also handled by AT&T). Had never received a call or bill before they threatened to put it on our credit report. All went back to a shut off they did ( which was not supposed to happen) when we dropped our home phone - now that was a real mess.

    Whew - I guess you got me started!!!!

  2. We didn't have these problems when everybody wrote things down. In a way I blame technology because I have heard so many times, the computer generates those letters or bills or whatever, as if there is no human at the controls. It's made people too lazy to see that not every situation fits inside the box and they have to go beyond the picture on their computer screen to see the truth. People have stopped thinking.

  3. Actually, the bank is at fault here, not the utility, as their failure while acting as your agent in the process of getting a payment to the utility is the problem here. And they did respond outside the box, as you note. The system works. I don't think you really want the utility and the bank deciding amongst themselves how to resolve this sort of thing, and I am glad that there are regulations prohibiting the bank from taking money from, or even providing information about, my accounts without my knowledge and direction.

    What people used to write down were numbers in ledgers. Computers actually handle that sort of thing rather well, I find, but ymmv.

  4. Certaily the bank is at fault but does it not seem ridiculous that they would turn off the power. Mistakes do happen. You'd think there would be some flexibility. Computers are great for numbers in legers but computer programs do tell a business about the state on an account as only numbers and the human just does what they are told. The computer says you are overdue. The computer says to cut off the power. The program informs about numerical fact and when the situation is more than that the person getting their information from the computer seizes up and can do nothing.Life is not binery. Actally there are only ten kinds of people in the world: those that understand binary and those that don't.