Utility companies holding citizens to ransom

Dear Editor,

It seems as if we are being held to ransom by the utility companies in Guyana. Recently residents on the West Coast Demerara and East Bank Essequibo that have the dish phones from GT&T got disconnected without any notice for two whole weeks. When the subscribers called GT&T they all got the same excuse: that the company was upgrading the phones and they couldn’t say when they would be reconnected. After two weeks the phones came back on and there’s no improvement in service and no apologies from GT&T. Subscribers are paying a monthly rental for the service along with the cost of calls, and if they don’t pay their bills on time, they automatically get disconnected by GT&T until they pay their bill. In addition, if they take too long they have to pay a reconnection fee.

Approximately eight years ago GT&T provided around 25-30 dish phones to residents of Zeelugt, but when there’s a blackout the phones cease to work. There are numerous residents on the sideline in Uitvlugt who have been living there before schemes developed in Stewartville and Uitvlugt, and the residents have exhausted all options in trying to get GT&T to provide them with phones. To date, there is not a slight chance of success although they are seeing schemes around them develop whose residents are enjoying the use phones provided by GT&T.

It’s my belief that if there was more competition for the landline phones in Guyana, the sloppy service that is being provided by GT&T at present would have been far better. We’ve all witnessed what happened when U-Mobile took over to be run by Digicel. I never thought that cell phones call could have been reduced so drastically.

Editor, quite recently again the residents of West Coast and East Bank Essequibo were unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of a series of unannounced blackouts. Why aren’t there scheduled blackouts instead of GPL controlling our lights and appliances like toys and causing them damage? When our appliances get damaged by their negligence they refuse to repair or replace them.

I could remember last year ‘Santa Bharrat’ presented Guyana with a generator to end the blackout woes here. I am wondering what time of this year he will visit Guyana and make another presentation;  I guess he’s not seeing the light to come here.

Yours faithfully,
Sahadeo Bates

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