FEA SECURITY DEPOSIT REVIEW IS ADDING WOES TO CONSUMER HARDSHIP

11/10/2011 14:31

The Council would like to express its disappointment on the authoritative tactic used by FEA where it is practically forcing consumers to pay two to three times more as security deposit.

The Council has been inundated with complaints against review of the security deposit which will require a consumer to pay between $100 to $300 within three months period.

The Council has received a total of 49 complaints in less than two weeks with more coming in. This excludes the complaints received by phone.

Consumers are raising their concern that first FEA increased the price of the electricity twice last year including dropping the daily average cap from 8.21KWh to 4.27KWh and now FEA wants to increase the security deposit.  Is this fair?

Consumers want FEA to justify this demand and explain the usage of existing deposits which it collected over last 30 years.   The Authority should also disclose the number of default customers whose debt was written off. 

If we take into consideration just the last 5 years for instance and 130,000 FEA customers who paid an average security deposit of $40, this would amount to more than $6m.

Added interest on this for the last 5 years at minimum 4% for instance would approximately amount to $1m. Imagine calculating the deposit and interest for the past 30 years with more than 130,000 customers. Is there really a need for this review?

The consumers should not be burdened with this additional cost since electricity is an essential service. The consumers are still adjusting to the recent increase in electricity bills and yet are burdened with another cost.

With the sky rocketing cost of living with ever increasing food and fuel prices and no upgrade to income, why should the faithful consumer with a good electricity record be penalized?

FEA being the monopoly should be more responsible and transparent rather than throwing its weight on poor consumers.