Many customers of Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC) have their share of stories to tell of high bills, and damaged appliances; however, a customer on Crockett Drive may have the most shocking story to tell.
Glen and Linda Albury have been dealing with BEC problems for more than twenty years, but even they were not prepared when they received a $2780 charge on their last bill. Linda said she is still trying to grasp what happened.
She said things appeared to go wrong in this particular story somewhere between October and November when their bill went from $460 to $533. It was during this time that she and Glen decided that they would seek an inquiry into their bill.
Somewhere between November 22 and 25 the power in the neighbourhood went off; however, their power did not. After several calls an employee of BEC realized there was a serious issue and instructed her to shut off her main breaker.
That afternoon a very nice employee of BEC came who discovered they had been running on one leg from the transformer. She said that he remarked “no wonder your bills are so high, you’ve been running on one leg.”
In December, while still waiting on the results of an inquiry, their bill dropped to $59 and was followed by low bills of $20 and $30. By March the bill had fallen to $5. Linda said “I figured this was how they were adjusting for the inquiry.” They continued to pay their bills including the extra as per their agreement throughout this time.
Her bills in April and May were again $5 each, but then in June they received the shock.
“I went in to pay on our bill on June 11 and that’s when Linda says that one of the ladies that works at BEC called her in and said ‘hey, do you notice how low your bills have been?’”
Linda said that she told the employee that she thought this was how BEC was adjusting their bill due to their inquiry in November. She said the employer told her “No. you are going to be getting a bill for $2700 because your bills have been too low.”
She said she was told she should have realized the bill was too low, and she said that there was also something wrong with their meter. Linda said she confirmed that BEC workers came about the first week of June and switched the meter.
Linda said she told them it was not their fault. She said the employee told “don’t worry we will put you on a payment plan.”
She said by this time they had paid their balance down to $1505 and she told the employee that “there’s no way! My husband is disabled and sick.” Linda said that she was assured they would work something out.
A week later Glen was called with the same news and was told again they would work something out. A week later we received the bill for $2780.17 and “we were dumbfounded.”
She said “they even had the gall to put in meter readings that I consumed 6000 kilowatt hours from May 19 to May 30 and additionally that I consumed 1171 kilowatt hours from May 30 to June 18.”
“When I saw this I said to myself; this is complete and utter fraud,” she said. When they asked what they based the numbers on they were told “past usage.”
Linda said she is still speechless every time she looks at the bill. She said she is hoping that they can come to a fair and just resolution and not be given mere hollow responses.