A sad letter on a Friday evening…
Normally I don’t do this but I have just received a letter from reader in Cork which, I think, deserves to be published verbatim.
“Dear Airtricity, last week you came to cut off our electricity. Can I explain to you the sick feeling in my stomach, the despair as I met the embarrassed look of the very kind gentleman you sent to do your work? Have you time to listen as I briefly endeavour to give you an explanation for my actions, for I can not understand yours. Both myself and my husband have lost jobs in the last two years, having worked all our lives. We have a mortgage and young children, like countless others.
“We have renegotiated our bills continuously with the different institutions, including yours, depending on our finances. Thankfully my husband is back to work but we are still working hard to get through our backlog of bills. September for us, and countless others, is an horrific month. Back to school finances weighed heavily on our already strained resources. The day you came to cut us off was the same day we received your letter informing us that the bank debit had not gone through. I sincerely thank the gentleman you sent for having the compassion to allow me time to sort out a final payment of €300. Thank God we managed to scrape it together and he did not have to return.
“Afterwards, I sat at the kitchen table, head in hands, seeing my husband’s face – dejected and broken, his pride almost dragged outside for public viewing. Meanwhile I have to reassess basic living costs until next pay day. Life goes on. Today we received your letter informing us we were to be cut off last Monday. Two days late. Last Monday you came to cut off our electricity. Last Monday our first child started college. . . a proud day for us in very difficult times. No matter, somehow, in my heart, the lights still went out.”
Name and address withheld.
This is sad and depressing. The reader referes to Airtricity but it could be any of the utility providers. There has to be a better, more compassionate, way of dealing with people in arrears than this?