I haven’t written one of these posts in a long time. I am not one to use my blog to complain about certain companies unless I feel it is grossly out of hand. I am also one of the few who believed that JPS has been flogged in public so many times. It is not that I don’t feel they are undeserving of the punishment but I have yet to see it yield any results. To me it was just a futile exercise. However, today, this morning to be exact as I sit on my couch thinking of legal ways to pay my light bill I realize that some have written out of sheer frustration. It’s equivalent to howling at the moon.
So here I am about to join the pack and howl as LOUD as I possibly can.
Let me give you a little background as to where I currently am financially. Ever since the untimely demise of my last place of employ I have been technically unemployed. I do contract jobs and freelance work here and there. I have made it work. Making it work means that my budget is tighter than a Chinese handcuff. I don’t splurge, I cook more often and I have learned every single crack in my wall at home. It also brings certain costs and sacrifices forefront. I no longer run my a/c when I feel like I suffer in the heat and until recently I prayed my lasko fan would actually blow some breeze. It also meant I plugged out every thing that was not in use and used what I needed to sparingly.
I am a single, black female in a studio apartment. A small television and a tiny fridge, microwave and electric stove. No washing machine, no dryer nothing fancy oh yeah and two 16″ fans. I like to read and watch most of my shows online so that nixes out the television. I hate bright lights and noise so I often lay down in the dark on phone. I tell you all of this because i need you to understand why my last bill left me shell shocked.
I received the bill via email like 5:00 a.m. the morning and was unable to go back to sleep. I tweeted @myjpsonline and asked them WHATEVER could have prompted such a high charge. They responded (very timely) and asked me to send them my name and account number so they could query it. I am now writing this post having now just come off the phone with the VERY polite Customer Care representative. The gist of the conversation was that last month’s bill was “estimated” as no one was home and so when they finally got to read the meter they realized it was “under estimated” and so this extra amount on my bill is the difference from last month. I have requested time and time again that NO estimated bill be sent to me. It seems that NO ONE in my apartment complex was ever home last month because all who I’ve talked to in here received an estimated bill. This same explanation was given to a neighbour who received a $23,000.00 bill when she normally pays the hightest $13,000.00 So basically they underestimated almost double of what we normally pay.
I know it is OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation) policy that you cannot have more than three (3) estimated bills in a row. So JPS style is to bill you estimated and then on third bill give you a whopping actual bill. Unless it is more than three (3) as a customer you have no recourse.Basically, Query or no query you have to pay it. The customer care agent was really nice and offered to extend my payment period so I could pay my bill a little late. I was grateful until she called back minutes later to let me know that because I am paying my bill late there would be an extra charge of $250.00 that’s what when I lost it. I told her I would pay JPS on time as they would NEVER get an extra cent out of me.
If this is what I am experiencing one can only imagine what business owners are going through. Somehow, someway Jamaica Public Service has found a way to be the biggest scammers of all. HOW is it okay for us to suffer for lazy and inept meter readers? how are estimated bills legal? WHY isn’t the OUR more involved and protecting my rights? Corruption aside… How much longer must I be financially raped by this company? I honestly have NO sympathy towards them when people like you and I run a cable 35ft under water because DEEP down inside they know that JPS is wrong.
JPS please understand this is not the way to encourage compliance. Then they have the nerve to tweet me to for to their Estore for equipment to monitor/manage my usage. I honestly believe I just got trolled. In the end anywhere JPS can find di money dem can Take it ALL.