The plight of a humble citizen

I bring my encounters with a very powerful conglomerate in our society to the attention of the general public.

It never ceases to amaze me how companies such as a monopoly continue to use their power in negative ways, against the very people they need to survive. While I may be one person, it is hard to imagine that others have not encountered such unjust treatments, however may have chosen to remain silent after being made to feel powerless.

I now break the suspension by revealing the name of this powerful conglomerate. The Grenada Electricity Company, a.k.a. GRENLEC has expressed its lack of respect and professionalism for simple human beings such as myself, who continue to live honestly in our society.

I am a 77 year old individual who lost my son less than a year ago. As most persons that encounter loss know, sorting out your loved ones unfinished business in the land of the living, in and of itself is not often easy.

Upon my son’s passing, I attempted to terminate his account with the powerful GRENLEC as I imagine is customary. Since I live in the parish of St. Andrew, where he also resided, I visited the office there. The first time I went in, I informed the clerk attending to me of what I hoped to achieve.

I gave her the necessary information, such as my son’s name, my name etc. After she retrieved the information on his account from her computer, she informed me that he has a deposit greater than what his final bill was. Any sensible person would understand from such a statement that GRENLEC would have to reimburse the excess to his next of kin.

At that point, I was asked about his death certificate and estate. I informed the clerk that no such estate exists and even went the distance to inform her that his burial was covered by his two siblings and I.

However, I did inform her that I have the death certificate at home which she told me I would also need to provide. She then asked whether I had personal identification to which I responded “no”.

At 77 years old, I am not in the habit of walking with personal ID. She informed me that I would have to verify who I am and therefore would need to return with an ID and death certificate.

I returned home achieving nothing on a first trip that cost me $5. On my second trip, I returned with the death certificate and my voter’s registration card as an ID and presented it to the clerk reminding her who I was and indicating that I was hoping once again to resolve a matter that appeared to be simple.




She looked at my ID and informed me that this card was no longer accepted. She then asked whether I had any other ID on me such as a passport or a national insurance card or an old foreign ID.

I replied that I have a passport at home. I inquired about why GRENLEC would not accept my voter’s registration card and gave examples of places where I use it with no problem such as the bank, credit union, money gram and Western Union.

She responded “it’s not valid”. At that moment, I became confused since I had never heard that before. Recognizing that I was getting nowhere with GRENLEC and its policies, I returned home a second time with the matter unresolved and the cost of another $5.

On my third trip to GRENLEC, I provided my passport and death certificate to the same clerk who took both documents and made a copy of them. Following that, she created a document comprised of two sheets of paper and asked me to read and sign it. At that point, I informed her that I did not have the time to read such a lengthy document and that the prints were too fine for me to see clearly but I signed it. As a customer service representative, she did not even offer to share with me verbally the contents of the document. She took the document back from me, and I waited in anticipation for the refund. After realizing that she was making no further attempts to serve me, I inquired about the refund and she started the questioning session all over again about my son’s estate, which I clearly told her from my very first visit that no such thing exists.

Realizing I was getting nowhere a third time, I walked out of GRENLEC and returned home, costing me another $5.

When I got home I called the main office in St. George and spoke with a customer service representative and explained my dilemma. She asked me about my son’s will. I informed her that he did not have a will. She started telling me that if he had a will, the person responsible for the will would have to administrate.

She told me this is the law to which I inquired whose law whether it was GRENLEC’s and she told me it was the government’s. She further advised me to go to a lawyer to make an affidavit to get the refund of $325. At that point, I asked her whether she thinks it makes sense paying a lawyer $700-$1000 to retrieve $325, she remained silent.

I said to her, “he was my son, we buried him, GRENLEC owes him a deposit and we cannot recover it, although I complied and provided his death certificate and my ID, however a powerful company such as GRENLEC gets to keep it while we, his family get nothing”.

It is absurd that citizens have to experience such injustices and inconveniences at the hands of this powerful company and there seems to be no advocacy or compensation for customers such as myself.

I have lost $15 plus a significant amount of time and suffered a great deal of aggravation and still have gotten nothing. I am a retired citizen with no source of income and the least GRENLEC could offer in all their glory and power is some simple respect.

THE PLIGHT OF A HUMBLE CITIZEN

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