I am one that is glad that our government had the courage to reacquire our essential services: water, electricity, and telephone. We might have paid a wee bit but the end result is that they are all owned and managed by Belizeans, and I dare say competently so.
Now, my main point for penning this article is that we, in Belize, practice a raw type of capitalism that is practiced by some countries, and I am hoping it will get to the conscience of the CEO and Board of Directors of BEL, all of whom are enjoying “the good life”, that we need to have a little more heart in our business practices.
About 10 years ago, I suggested to the department that they should have two lists for people who are slated to be disconnected, my reason being that this would prevent the humiliation, embarrassment, and aggravation of good people, consistent payers who for some reason did not get their bill.
I have been a faithful payer of my bills over 5 years. A few days ago, an employee from BEL called to remind me of an unpaid bill, and I told her that I would be at BEL by 10 the next morning to check on the problem. The clerk then explained to me that it was a bill which was “in care of Henry Young, Placencia”, and that they had already disconnected the service, so I had to pay an additional $15.
When I investigated, it was discovered that the bill was delivered to the wrong address. If we had a two-listed system for disconnections, a second bill would most likely have reached the correct address. There are cases where a person might be away, or in the case of an elder they might not have received their remittance on time. This is a request for the management of BEL to have heart and practice a little conscience in their capitalism.
And while I am on this subject, BEL used to have a number which the poor, old, eyesight-diminished people could call for assistance. Now, when you call that number, you get a taped voice.
Shame on them.
Henry Young, Sr.