EDITOR, The Tribune.
Simon Rodehn’s letter today, 17 March “Waste of time for businesses”, struck a chord with me with respect to doing business under a “trade name”, as my aunt Anne Johnstone had, only last night, recounted her Twilight Zone experience, with our own Government agency BEC, seemingly doing business as BPL.
Ever since BPL landed in The Bahamas, the Government has gone to great and unusual pain, and probably spent significant money, to transfer the public’s perception of this DODO Corporation to the new and shiny Bahamas Power & Light (BPL). And, having observed all of the PR to that effect, my aunt made her cheque for her January electricity payment to guess who, Bahamas Power and Light or BPL, and had it delivered to the BEC/BPL drop box, on 17th February. One month ago today.
On Wednesday of this week, as she prepared to go out with friends for a relaxing lunch, the BEC disconnection guy came bouncing up her driveway. When an outside workman at the house asked the man what he wanted, he said he had come to “cut the electricity off for non-payment”. The workman laughed and told him there must be some mistake because he had known the Johnstones for many years, and they paid their bills.
This made no difference to the BEC man and so my aunt had to thereupon cancel her luncheon, to find out what had happened. Or come back after lunch to find her generator running. To make a long story short, they had received her cheque, but as it was made payable to BPL, they could not accept it for payment. Now, you think that someone might have called to say this, (they must have a phone number and the name is in the telephone book) or even with the lousy Bahamas Postal Service, just put it in an envelope with a brief note. Or, put a note on the computer account to return the cheque, instead of cutting off the supply. No that would all be far too simple and business like, so it seems they just stuffed it in a drawer, and left her to face the consequences.
And so, as Mr Rodehn quite rightly observes, our Government seems intent on wasting the time of, not only our business people, but also our senior citizens, and everyone else that tries to exist in this under-achieving God forsaken Bahamas.
BRUCE G. RAINE
March 17, 2017.