In a radio interview with Newstalk 1010’s Jerry Agar last Thursday, Niagara Peninsula Energy’s Margaret Battista, vice-president customer service, claimed their representative knocked on the door of G & L Nursery operator Rex Ge on two different occasions before his power was disconnected.
Ge says no way.
Ge’s power was cut off in late February over an overdue amount of just over $360. The action lead to the contents of this greenhouse operation being destroyed, including all plants as well as his heating and watering system.
Damage has been estimated at more than $150,000.
While Battista said all Ge had to do was let the company know he would be overseas – he was in China for six weeks attending to ill parents – and no action would have been taken. She said NPE followed its procedures.
In NewsNow’s initial story published March 12, Battista did not make the claim of visits to the door. She did say their representative does complete a report each time they attend a location and that was done in this case. She did not elaborate on what the report said.
Regardless, Ge said when he first returned home from China there was nearly four feet of snow in his lane and on his porch. There was no sign anything had been disturbed – no footprints. He was only home a brief time, then took ill himself and he went to Toronto to be cared for by his son.
When he returned home a second time about a week later, more snow, no new footprints.
He said both disconnection notices were placed in his rural mailbox and he never saw them.
“If they had only knocked on my door before it was cut off,” Ge said.
Ge believes NPE should pay restitution in his case as he believes proper protocols were not followed. He also said his account was not even to 60 days overdue for the small amount and he had a perfect payment record to that point.
The community has come to his aid through the “Rally For Rex” campaign, with just over $3,000 coming in so far.
“There is a long way to go,” said Ge’s friend, Laura Fevez.
Contributions can be made at gofundme.com or at any Bank of Montreal: Transit #03262, Acct. No. 3983-612.
Ge has not obtained a lawyer. In fact, he does not want to. Aside from the fact he does not have the money, he thinks NPE should do the honourable thing, admit there were errors and work with him to allow him to rebuild his life.
He also noted that he went to China last year and his bill was in a similar state. He paid it to current when he returned home with no issue.