Power company apologizes for switching customers without their knowledge

Brooklyn Currents | 3/13/2014 | 0 comments

            Here's the good part:

New York City residents for years  have had the option to choose which company could supply electricity to their homes.

But here's the bad part:

The ability for different providers to supply power has meant that sometimes a company will hook someone up without the consumer's  consent, or even knowledge.

This happened recently to about 45  residents of Seacoast Towers in Brighton Beach, by a company called Great Eastern Energy. After Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn) contacted the state Public Service Commission about the unauthorized switching, the company issued a public apology, with CEO Matt Lanfear vowing to "resolve the issue swiftly and effectively."

 He attributed the unauthorized switch-over to a "clerical error."

"To begin, let me be very clear: I'm genuinely sorry that you've had this experience with our service. It is not, and could not be less indicative of our business practices and guiding principles," Lanfear said, adding that he had "taken appropriate actions to ensure the mistake is not repeated."

Cymbrowitz said he believed Lanfer's apology was sincere. "In the end, the object is to save people money. If this company can do that, we're happy to work with them," Cymbrowitz  said.

"My goal was never to embarrass Great Eastern Energy but to protect constituents, many of them elderly and non-English speaking, who found themselves in a situation they didn't ask for and couldn't resolve," he added. "We've accomplished that goal and now we can move on."


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