Pelco 2-Dau, taken over as a joint venture by a national and a city-based firm yet remaining cooperative with a board of directors, is one hell of a mishmash fit only for unquestioning automatons run by electricity. The coop monopolizes electric supply in tens of thousands of households in many Pampanga towns and that being the case, only the dumb would think it should be losing money.
Businesses which make money maintain patronage by making transactions convenient for customers, being courteous and friendly to them, etc. So customers stick with them instead of moving over to the competitor. Unfortunately, Pelco 2-Dau is a monopoly and this seems to explain consumer misery.
Pelco 2-Dau is housed in, well, Dau, Mabalacat City, in a scraggly building fit for the uncomplaining. Almost every office day, consumers wanting to pay bills are strewn about outside, for lack of space in the less uncomfortable innards already crowded with folk holding on to narrow receipts which are their bills.
A woman in white polo shirt would every now and then imperiously emerge from a room and declare the need for consumers to squeeze selves to a corner already filled in.
Then she vanishes royally into the same room.
The office is a total shame compared to the buildings of the Mabalacat City Water District which is also a monopoly. The water district has much less consumers and thus not as rich as Pelco 2-Dau. Yet, its buildings (plural) are handsome structures of three floors, with cool conditioned air humming serene in neat offices. There, personnel are not only as friendly as McDonald’s food servers if not friendlier, and no one with the arrogance of monopoly emerges from any room. Water consumers feel family, important over their consumption of a commodity that is even more vital than Pelco 2-Dau’s.
Why the difference? This bears study, but one can fearlessly offer lack of consumer-friendly management as one reply. Now more on Pelco 2-Dau which is known for its efficiency to cut off electricity over delayed bill payments. It is its lone efficiency after all.
Pelco 2-Dau consumers have a venue for complaints in a narrow room staffed by a man and a woman. Except that they confuse instead of enlighten. One time I was there, I demanded reason for my latest bill that featured two confusing sums for payment. Since I had promptly paid my bill the previous month despite not receiving any billing, I insisted there was error.
The personnel told me I must have failed to pay one of my past bills. I countered I had always paid bills despite, at least in the previous month, not getting any billing (which come in a strip of long paper similar to receipts from Hypermart at SM mall, which are merely inserted anywhere at the gate without any effort to alert consumer and are at the mercy of air movement or water drizzle).
I was told that personnel assigned to deliver billings try to alert household members about their deliveries. With no one in the house, they just insert the bill anywhere at the gate or thereabouts. Consumers know all too well the receipts are just abandoned without effort to notify them. Of course, the coop imposes interest in case you forget to pay bills on time.
On my double billing, I insisted I had religiously paid every month, including two payments via Clark SM service. The man at the complaints room said it could be that one of my payments was not relayed to the Dau office and that without a receipt from SM, I had to pay what I insisted I had already paid at the mall.
There must be record of that mall payment, I countered. But the man said that payments through SM were relayed to the Pelco 2 main office in Guagua town which, he declared, normally would not forward information on the payment to Dau.I stared at the man; he was serious. In this age of internet, I found the reply pure-bred stupidity.
I was advised to pay the two billings. I began to hear a heavy sword of darkness swing heavily over me, and I went to the cashier to pay and protest later. The woman at the other desk reminded me that two months of delayed payments would mean electric supply cut off.
At the cashier, a young woman was complaining how come electricity at her home was cut. The cashier said she must have overlooked her latest bill and that non-payment for a month (not two months as I was earlier warned) explained her fate.
The cashier charged me only one of the two sums in my bill. She said the other sum referred to the current, not past month. But how justify the billing for a month that has not yet terminated? Was my consumption pre-determined?
I just felt I had to leave that crampy, grumpy Pelco 2-Dau office and paid my month’s worth of bill. I was boiling, Pelco 2-Dau is simply bad for the health.
In short, it is sickening.