Dear BC Hydro,
I know you are a dinosaur monopoly who doesn't have to bother giving a damn about the needs of one customer. I know that as even one customer goes, I'm probably not a very important one. I don't run a 3000 sq. foot home with multiple fridges and a giant heated pool, or manage a 15 storey office tower with central heat. I know that I'm just a single mom with a couple kids who forget sometimes to turn the lights off, and that my gut-sucking bill of $130/mo is barely even lunch money in your world.
But you forget something. You forget that this is not the old-days, when power monopolies were expected and accepted. When a strongly-written letter to the editor might take a week to get published in the local paper, if it made it at all. And when accountability, responsibility and customer care weren't even a glint in the eye of the big boys at head office.
No, this is the day of the interwebs. Of social media. Of Susan Boyle's and Star Wars kids and viral marketing and corporations losing control of their image as it's taken over by the masses. You keep your PowerSmart - we've got PeopleSmart. I've got blog readers - not a lot, but they are passionate. And I've got Twitter followers - just over 200, in fact. Who between them have almost a million followers. I have 400 Facebook friends, and within just 2 degress of separation I surround the globe with millions more.
And I'm pissed off.
What brought all this on, you ask? I just logged into my online account (worst website ever, by the way, but we'll deal with that elsewhere) to find in giant letters that my account has been closed. WTF?? Says who? I still have power, so at least you haven't totally screwed me over. But I am more than curious as to under whose authority my account has been closed, since I have a $400+ credit with you and haven't contacted anyone in your offices in 6 years. Like I said though, the power is still on, so let's hope that lasts. And by the way, thanks for accepting that last payment of $130 AFTER the account was erroneously closed. You rock. NOT AT ALL!
After my initial shock I thought I'd call and see if we can't figure out what closed means, and also let you know I'm moving in 10 days (what I really need right now is more stress, so thanks too for that). I called. I was at work, so I just tucked the phone under my chin and got back to work. Until 57 minutes later when I decided I'd hang up - despite the now nauseating admonition to "please stay on the line as it will be faster than hanging up and calling again" - It couldn't possibly be slower, I figured, and it was now past time for me to go home.
So I came home and called again. I changed out of my work clothes while I was on hold. I went to the bathroom while I was on hold. I made a delicious jerked roast beef & rice dinner while I was on hold. And after another 43 minutes my son asked if I was ever going to get off the phone. So I did.
And now I'm eating my delicious jerked roast beef & rice dinner. And plotting the downfall of all the archaic Big-Boy monopolies that don't exist based on their superior customer care and satisfaction. And, because I can't live on solar power in my new apartment, I will call you back. And wait. And have my time and peace-of-mind and consideration spat upon some more. But ultimately, some day, this will change. And I'll look back and know that I was one of the giant killers.
Get stuffed, fricking useless monopolies. Telus has lost it's stranglehold on our phone lines, and someday you will lose your stranglehold on our electricity.
PS - I want my overpayment refunded!