The Junta de Andalucia and Sevillana Endesa -normally the best of friends, and if you want one then you’ll find them in bed with the other- has display a small rift with Sevillana Endesa over the change from bimonthly to monthly billing.
Those of us on “small” (under 10Kw lines) will have noticed that we are now being billed monthly, instead of every two months, and what is more, the first month is estimated. In some cases, according to complaints, estimated by over 200% more than reality.
This has lead to such an influx of complaints from members of the public that not only has Endesa’s complaint lines collapses, but the Juntas as well; as vast numbers of complaints and queries come in.
This has lead to (shock! gasp! falls against the wall holding his fluttering heart with a moan!) the opening of an informative investigation (expediente informativo) against the company to see if its new policy is “against the public interest”.
Gaspar Zarrias, First VicePresident of the Andalucian Parliment and a man trotted out to the camaras when Pressie for Life Chaves prefers to sit out the crisis in the shadows, has promised a full investigation into the complaints and unprompted (something which has shocked the local media) threated fines and sanctions against the electrical company if it is found to be abusing its power (well, why else have power? asked a bemused Sevillana official [not really]).
“Sevillana Endesa must justify the increase and if there are irregularities, let no citizen have the least doubt that we will ask for the return of payments and impose sanctions” he warned.
Sevillana, apart from the dodgy estimates (which aren’t refunded, only credited if they take too much out of your account) has also convinced the government to allow them to impose a 3,5% increase in the base cost of electricity. January isn’t the best month to do things like this.
For example, the Sevillana Endesa office of Ribera del Genil yesterday had at one point over 300 irate customers demanding attention, apparantly forcing the local police to come round to impose control. Jose Carlos Lopez, a local fella, was indignant as he pointed out that he only earnt 1000€ a month, but was charged 404€ byb Endesa for one months electricity, as opposed to an averge of 50€ a month which was his real usage. “This means my family cannot eat this month” he proclaimed to the press, “but if I refuse to pay it then my family shall be left in the dark”.
FACUA –Federación de Asociaciones de Usuarios y Consumidores, one of Spains principal Consumer Associations- are producing a leaflet informing clients of Endesa of their rights if they believe their estimated bill to be excessive, as the company hasn’t bothered to do this, and are “still deciding what our national response is to be”.
Another client, Jose Aranda, is bitter because it seems that on his bill they have charged him for exceeding his electric charge, despite the fact he never has before.
A statement issued by Sevillana Endesa reminds its customers that it was granted permission to move to bimonthly billing with one estimated by Royal Decree late last year, and that “the company has abided by the rules; we have done nothing wrong”.