Family left in the dark

On Jan. 27, we came home from work and school to find that our power had been disconnected, but were unable to do anything about it because the ridiculous clerk office hours (closes at 4:30 p.m., many people don’t even finish work until 5 p.m.).

We have two children and no family should be left in the dark and without any heat during the winter months.

I was surprised and unaware of any possible disconnection for late payment because I did not receive a ‘Blue’ reminder in the mail. I’m used to the blue reminder system, and know from past experiences that this amount must be paid immediately. Sometimes, things do get lost or redirected in the mail, this is why I think that the City of Penticton should have a better system in place for when these things happen or a much more forgiving late-system in place.

I received my bill on Jan. 19, and then eight days later was cut off. As the city may know, times are tough financially for people, especially for families following the holiday season.

I would hope that in the future, they could implement some sort of call-out system that could remind people that they are in arrears or give more notice to the people of Penticton before cutting their power. Maybe even review our city bylaws, ‘Disconnection for non-payment’, to allow for more notice. I know that Fortis, Telus, Shaw or any other large service company will allow more leniency and not shut off their service for a matter of $60.

TimeLine: Dec. 31, 2010 made a payment of $100 for arrears amount; new bill, date Jan. 14, 2011; bill received on Jan. 19, 2011 (No ‘Blue’ reminder); power shut off Jan. 27, 2011.

I hope that in the future there can be a better and more caring system in place for the families of Penticton.

Erica McDowell