NewsNow Niagara e-edition: August 9 2018  – View Interactive PDF

Writer: NPE needs to do the right thing

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Dear Editor,

For every action there is a reaction. This is my reaction to what Niagara Peninsula Energy did to Rex Ge.

The first part of the story, which was News Now’s second front page story this past week, also happened to us, but with a pronounced difference. We had a NPE bill that was overdue – because we thought it was paid automatically as is our second bill.

We received a letter from NPE stating that the first bill was overdue, but because we had been long-time good customers, they were sending this reminder letter, and it was paid immediately.

That did not happen to Rex Ge.

Rex Ge was supposed “to reach out” to NPE, even though he had been a good customer of NPE for over 13 years, as the story goes. Instead, someone gave the order for his electricity to be cut off.

Instead of cutting off his house, another someone decided to cut off the electricity to his greenhouses, to cut off his livelihood in the coldest February on record. In my summation of this situation these ‘someones’ should be fired!

Further NPE must undo what they have ordered to be done, and restore Rex Ge’s livelihood by repairing the consequences of its actions.

Mr. Ge, according to the story, cannot afford to hire lawyers to go to bat for him. This is a lucky break for NPE. Now it can seize upon this opportunity to rectify the boiler, the frozen water and fertilizer pipes, the hydroponic units without the added legal costs.

Those high costs instead could go to replacing all the plants Mr. Ge was cultivating to sell in two months’ time, and could replace anything else that was damaged. It won’t replace the labour he has lost, but it’s a start for him to recover his business.

Instead of such narcissistic behaviour in the future, I am suggesting that NPE devote some time to learn how to champion a program here that has been operating in several USA states for several years.

It is called the Lift Up Debt Reduction Program, and was started by company treasurers to give financial empowerment to their customers by looking at their utility bills. Guess what? The company would send someone with an overdue electric bill a letter so stating, and remind them nicely to pay it. It works! Just like NPE did for us.

Instead, what did NPE do? NPE, according to the story, more than doubled the overdue $360 Bill by adding a $400 security or surety charge becuase his electricity had been disconnected.

Adding further insult to injury is unconscionable in this case.

It appears that Niagara Peninsula Energy has created a monstrous error.

This is how it gets back on track. Fix the damages it caused to Rex Ge’s livelihood, and fast. Admit it was very wrong to do what it did so callously. Caring for your customers brings happy customers, which is better than killing off businesses.

I expect NPE to do the right thing now, and remedy Rex Ge’s situation fast.

And I thank Mike Williscraft for covering this ‘front-page’ story so very well. Mike gave more good suggestions for Niagara Peninsula Energy, which should turn over a new leaf, now.

Let’s read the good news story to follow.

Sincerely,
Anne L. Fairfield
Caistor Centre

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