Letter to the Editor

First Posted: 2/12/2009

To the Editor,

This is a letter in regards to the article in today’s newspaperPower customers granted one day grace period.
Sir I would like to tell my side of the story. While I do appreciate you telling the truth, you failed to show any compassion on Electronic Service and Sales. This is a small store with on average two employees and the owner. One employee is a retired gentleman and the other employee is a high school student who arrives around 1:15 pm each day.
Global Express approached the owner sometime in late December or early January wanting to process Duke Power payments through his store. He was already set up to take other payments so it would be a quick process. Global Express suggested to him that having a few extra customers coming in each day to pay their Duke Power bill would help boost his normal business. Which like all businesses is feeling the horrible turn of events in the economy. Global made it sound like a great thing. So the owner accepted it.
Starting Feb. 2, 2009 the customers came in by hundreds. Global Express did NOT realize that the daily volume of Duke Power customers would be as high as it was. Electronic Service and Sales was caught WAY of guard. The owner basically forfeited several days of his normal business to try to help out with the customers of Duke Power. He had two registers running from 9 am until 5 pm for a couple of days. He was trying his best to processes everything by 5 pm.some days accepting people after 5pm. Everyone at the business was working until as late as 9pm trying to process the drop offs and balance at the end of the day.
By Thursday evening Feb. 5th he was begging for Global to help him. His normal business was suffering considerably and he couldn’t afford this. They suggested we run one cash register only and to just let them line up. They agreed to come in on Monday to help him out.
The Global express representative couldn’t believe her eyes. She too was also there with us until after 8 pm that evening. She suggested if customers are lined up to the door, then stop accepting anymore because it would take anywhere from 30-45 minutes to complete all customers in the line.
We tried on Tuesday to cut off around 4:30 if they were lined up to the door. We still didn’t finish with last customer until around 5:15. So Global said Wednesday morning to cut them off around 4 pm. They suggested we even change the hours on the marquee board and she was contacting Duke Power to let them know our hours had changed.
Each and every day since we have started taking payments for Duke Power we have had angry confrontations in the parking lot.people displaying rude behavior to our employees.and people stirring up other customers in line. When customers walk through the door and see the line, they automatically get angry. We are doing the very best we can do.
We can only process payments as quick as the computer will let us. Global installed their computer and we have to do each step as they require us.
Global Express is paying Electronic Service and Sale just enough money to employee one person and break even. There is no profit at all for Electronic Service and Sales and a few employees are even volunteering their time to help out.
So when angry customers call in to complain about standing in line.they need to realize a few things. Electronic Service and Sales is doing the very best to accommodate Duke Power customers. We have provided a drop box for customers if they bring a check with the account number written on it. We also want them to know we are sorry, but our employees are human beings too. We have children at home that we are not getting to see because we are working until 8 or 9 pm every day. So please bear with us and be a little bit more compassionate. We are the ONLY place in Surry County that is taking Duke Power payments that we know of.
Thank you,
Brenda Gravley
Volunteer Employee at ESS

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