Paying electricity and water

Dear Editor,

A big reason why there is quite a lot of talk about “cost of living” is because all of sudden nobody can escape paying for their power and water bills like they used to do in the old days. 

The switch to pre-pay bills has been a masterstroke. It has helped return E.P.C and S.W.A to well functioning efficient organisations compared to how they were back in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Under the old system where you got power or water and then you pay later, I am willing to bet that thousands of people used to ignore their power and water bills. 

In the case of E.P.C, the debts piled up and eventually E.P.C had to write those debts off as not recoverable. Other people used to make phone calls to E.P.C to feed them all sorts of excuses to give them another a week/month/year lol.

Eventually, all of those phone calls piled up and those debts had to be written off as not recoverable. 

The end result was that for every Samoan that paid his/her bills on time, there would be another 2-3 Samoans not paying their bills and quite large percentage of those bills eventually never got paid. Threats of cutting off the power were barely enforced a lot of the time and waste of time pay arrangements were put in place. Too many bills escaped being paid.

Now, everything is on a pre-paid system. Nobody escapes. 

You either pay your power or water bill up front or you don’t get any power or water. It was a very smart move to switch to a pre-paid system. 

The likes of E.P.C would’ve gone bankrupt by now if they stayed on the old system.

Petelo Suaniu

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