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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

 

It was a long wait to opt out of utility payment plan

Amy Richardson guest blogs by way of a letter to the NJ opinion page.

I have accepted the fact that I am powerless when it comes to Delmarva Power's coming 59 percent rate increase. Although I agree with deregulation of utility companies nationwide, it may be years before Delmarva has any viable competition in New Castle County. I have accepted that exorbitant installation fees make solar energy an unrealistic option for me and many others.

What I will not accept is a company that forces customers into an interest payment plan unless they opt out of it.

It is disturbing that elected officials would endorse a plan so detrimental to constituents.

Despite my horror, I took time to log onto Delmarva's Web site. I found no obvious icon for opting out. Once I located it and entered my account number, my request could not be processed and I was directed to a toll-free phone number.

After a 10-minute wait, I got to speak with a representative. After a brief conversation, I was assured by the young woman that I had successfully opted out of the payment plan. I find it interesting that a company that has the technological capability to accept payments online and by telephone in a few minutes cannot create a system to allow a customer to opt out of the imposed payment plan in less than 30 minutes.

Amy Richardson, Wilmington


Thanks Amy! We all need to remember to "thank" our elected officials for this situation in November.

Comments:
It took me about 2 minutes at their website.
 
What did you expect? This is Delaware, home of the finest fine-print credit-card agreements. Sneaky interest rates and fees are our birthright!
 
I hope if any employees of our fine credit-card banks complain about the Delmarva interest rates and the auto opt-in, someone will sit them down and explain the irony to them. Watch out though; Kool-aid withdawal symptoms are unpredictable.
 
I went to the NCC Civic League meeting last night and Gary Stockbridge from DP&L told us that the legis was responsible for the default to incremental payment increases not the power company.
He said that the power company recommended the opposite but that the legis decided that they needed to ensure that folks would "get" the segmented increase.....something to do wht elections??!!!
 
I went to the NCC Civic League meeting last night and Gary Stockbridge from DP&L told us that the legis was responsible for the default to incremental payment increases not the power company.
He said that the power company recommended the opposite but that the legis decided that they needed to ensure that folks would "get" the segmented increase.....something to do wht elections??!!!
 
You know the old folks, even if they aren't disconnected, are going to turn off their A/C once the first few bills hit. The phase-in is an attempt to reduce the number of dead grannies this summer... those stories will be a real downer for the campaigns of the Conflict Caucus.
 
This is odd, I just got this bit of e-mail from the WNJ via somebody called publicus.com...on my corporate email account:

"Business - How Delmarva's phase-in plan affects you"

To view this article on delawareonline.com, go to:

http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=200660419004

The following is a short message from Delmarva Opt Out:

Get in touch with them and OPT OUT of this crap!

Well, that was it, even the word crap. Funny, eh? I was planning to opt out anyway, just because they set it up as the default to garner all those lovely interest payments - $30 per customer.
 
Oh man, this is even worse, from today's News Journal:

Unlike their neighbors in Delaware, Maryland customers won’t pay Delmarva Power any interest to phase in electricity rate increases hitting residents this spring.

The Maryland Office of People’s Counsel negotiated different terms from Delmarva and its sister company, Potomac Electric Power Co., than lawmakers in Delaware. For Delaware customers, Delmarva will charge interest on the phase-in program and require all customers to participate unless they call the company.

Deputy People’s Counsel Theresa Czarski said her office worked hard to prevent any interest charges from being passed on to residents and to ensure that the program would be optional. In Maryland, electric customers must ask to become part of the program instead of calling and asking to be taken out of it.

“We didn't like those types of plans,” Czarski said today...

...Rep. Robert F. Valihura...said Delaware lawmakers had crafted the phase-in plan assuming customers here were getting as good as a deal as Maryland residents. If that isn’t the case, the General Assembly will go back and change the phase-in plan, he said.

“I am absolutely certain that the Delaware legislature will make that a fact,” Valihura said.
link
 
Valihura's law firm acted as DP&L lobbyists.....he of all people should have been able to negotiate for the best interests of the people, his constituents.

Have any of you seen where this cat lives?

Off of Twaddlemill Road, up Laurel Ridge road and wind up the hill to the top cul-de-sac amid the rhodadendrums (sp?)and oaks, past the great stone feature embedding his house number and the driveway that swings to the very top of the ridge is his mansion-like home.

He is truly the king with the castle on the mount in the pristine valley where folks have some 10+ acres a piece of lonely, wooded privacy.

I do not begrudge the legis is good fortunes, I just wish we had a rep of such powerful committee holdings to be more in tune with the fates of commoners and the real wallet effect of hundreds of dollars a month in combined increases we all must find to keep our quality of life intact.

He lives in remote chateau country. On the other hand, Terry pence's adddress will take you to a squat brick dwelling near New Castle under the roar of planes which pattern in and out of the county airfield....somehow I don't see him actually spending time there.....check it out.

decleansweep dropped off christmas packages to key legis last December with carols and coal to remind them of the likely fate of those without means when these increases are effected.
 
As a reminder you could also mail to the legis some of those gauze masks the coroners wear when they pull seniors out of apts where the A/C was turned off in July. Or maybe send them some nice baked goods...
 
I've just opted out of the phase-in interest scam, and it took me all of 2 minutes (online.)

Have you considered adding to your April statistics the 15 to 20% of Delmarva customers who have done so? How about the 1,500 MBNA employees who have lost their jobs since the buyout by BofA?
 
From today's NewsJoural editorial:

..compared to the way Maryland's Legislature handled Delmarva's rates, Delaware's way looks almost dishonest.

Hey, that's almost journalism!
 
That does it, I'm moving back to Maryland; at least they have adult supervision. Besides, the license plates are way cooler.
 
We have to have someone publish the names of the legis in the House who conveniently got the LAW CHANGED when the bill for this 1999 de-reg took place...the law allowed for DP&L stock holders to vote FOR de-reg of DP&L who had not previously been able to vote under a conflict-on-interest protection standard limit......
gee.....who inthe hell was so damn brazen????

And lets not let Roger Boy Roy off of the hook....he is in the House until November.
 
We have to have someone publish the names of the legis in the House who conveniently got the LAW CHANGED when the bill for this 1999 de-reg took place...

Grab this Ron Williams article before it expires from Google cache...
 
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