Thursday, May 24, 2012

Why it's exhausting to live in Guyana....3 - GPL

So brought to the edge of anxiety and depression as having work done in the house yesterday afternoon and got home to find a Power Cut. Was told that the area had a 'blackout' so didn't think anything of it until it got dark at 6pm and noticed that the Street Lights came on! A quick check with the neighbours revealed that they had 'lights'!! Rang GPL - Guyana's only electricity provider and got a fault-reporting number. After ringing my Girl Friday, it transpired that this month's bill went up 2.5 times the usual charge so we paid a higher amount but not the full amount and she was to query it. She remembers the line was too long and then the bill got filed away by mistake ten days ago.
Apparently GPL snucked in and cut off the electricity from the pole outside while I was at work without the courtesy of a notice or anything. Now, bear in mind, we pay regularly AND we paid more than the usual charges-- surely their accounts department should have some sort of system to see who the regular customers are? This is particularly annoying as the back of the office was rented while the meter was still in the Landlord's name-- again GPL have an ancient system that in order to change the meter- the new person has to apply so the option would be for the existing person to write and cut off the meter or wait until the new person applies-- this tenant had no intention of paying and left on the Air Conditioner--now if everything ran as per the domestic Customer- then GPL ought to have cut it off the following month- but instead the thing ran for 5 months non-stop when we virtually had to fight them to come and cut it off! Where is the uniformity then and why penalise your regular domestic customers? They can blatantly disregard the customer because they are the only company providing electricity.  The system sucks but the small man has no choice.

POSTSCRIPT: over 48hrs later got back electricity, here's what I learnt-
 AMANA makes superb refrigerators - only the milk in the refrigerator section spoilt- that I have discovered so far.
6 days after the Due Date your name is automatically sent to the Disconnection section if you have not paid in FULL.
you need to register a query no matter how long the line is as that apparently is the only way you can stop your name from going on the disconnection list!
the emergency crew does not apparently get the List from the disconnection section-- the departments are separate and don't communicate - and they do not do re-connections.
GPL don't care if you have to work and are not at home when the Meter Reader comes and the nice man who used to come on Sundays don't work anymore.
You can read your own meter and telephone in the results to them before the 14th of every month-- donkeys - that's why we get the Bills in the first week-- if that-- depending on the Guyana Post Office!

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