Jul 13, 2013 News
The Guyana Power and Light yesterday issued a “sincere” apology to the La Penitence resident who was recently “shocked” by a $1/2M light bill.
On July 9, Donna Meusa of 31 Walker Terrace, La Penitence, told this publication that for the month of June she received a GPL bill for $488,030.
Meusa on that occasion said that “she was at a loss”, and did not understand how it is that she was billed so much money, especially since the previous bill, which comes under the name of a relative, Sybil Hawker, was merely $359.
The power company in a release yesterday explained that “most of GPL’s meters are read manually, where a meter reader visually looks at the meter and inputs the reading into a portable electronic device. At the end of each day, the readings are uploaded into GPL’s Billing System, which uses the readings to calculate bills.”
GPL further explained that the system then automatically highlights what appears to be “erroneous” consumption; which does this by comparing the current monthly consumption with historical levels.
GPL added that when Meusa queried her enormous bill, the staff should have then noticed that the consumption deviated significantly from previous levels.
Had their employee established the correct procedure, GPL said that the staff should have then informed the customer that the “consumption does appear inconsistent and that GPL will re-read the meter to verify the accuracy of the reading”.
The power company said that the meter was then re-read and the correct analysis was entered into the system thus the corrected bill was issued.
“Like the billing staff, the query staff did not follow proper policies and procedures. We are also dealing with this internally”, GPL said.
GPL further explained that the responsibility of the billing staff is to investigate and correct any supposedly incorrect bill before it is issued to the customer but in the case of Ms. Hawker’s bill, the system did highlight the uncharacteristically high consumption but the staff failed to make the correction.
GPL said that the company takes customer services seriously and encourages customers to raise any issue affecting them.
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