THE EDITOR, Sir:
The near-monopoly electricity provider, Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS), has unilaterally decided that it will be estimating our bills based on the last three months' consumption, as if our usage remained intact for October, the month Hurricane Sandy devastated parts of the eastern end of the island.
Those of us in the east who were without electricity service for an average of three to seven days, having been made to pay this estimated bill for October, will be credited thereafter in November when the meters are read.
This means that JPS will be holding the amount for which we are to be eventually credited, for 30 days after taking it from us! That portion, which is bound to be a multimillion-dollar figure, will, in reality, be a 30-day Sandy loan from us all to JPS.
Consider this iniquitous approach against people who have already suffered loss from the hurricane!
If we, the consumers, had a say in the matter, the approach to billing could be more equitable, in that they could simply charge us 80 per cent of the average of our previous three months' consumption, and for November, reconcile our accounts after there is a reading.
To dictate that it will be an average of our past three months' payments is to demonstrate the stranglehold monopolies providing an essential service have upon our meagre wallets. JPS must be reminded that we are all parties to a contract with them to provide service, and in that respect, the voices of the consumers are as important as that of the provider.
BERT S. SAMUELS