Iberdrola’s zero tolerance policy for non payment of bills now deemed illegal by Spain’s central government
A NEW law that effects Iberdola’s non payment policy has been brought in following pressure by left-wing opposition members and social organisations sparked by the death of an elderly lady last year, reports thinkSPAIN.
The elderly lady’s house caught fire after a candle she used for light, – her electricity having been cut off because she could not pay her bills – tipped over and, as she was partially disabled, could not get out of her apartment.
Electricity companies will be required to give three warnings and then wait at least four months before cutting off power due to non-payment, according to a draft law sent to Spain’s 17 autonomously-governed regions by the central government.
Two months’ grace after the three warnings will be given to the average householder, but those listed as ‘vulnerable’ or who are in receipt of social service funding, or registered with the electricity board for benefits reducing their bills due to poverty, will get a four-month breathing space to try to find the money before they lose their connection.
Utility companies must now inform their customers of their non-payment as soon as it occurs, then request the money via a legal document known as a burofax sent by registered post, or by email with a digital signature. A second, then third and final warning will be given via alternative means to ensure it reaches the customer, and if, within two months of the third warning, the bill has not been paid, then the company can cut the householder off.
Read the full article at thinkSPAIN
SPARKS COMMENT : The new law is clearly aimed to help protect vulnerable and low income individuals and families. So it will be interesting to see how Iberdrola continue to deal with the “average” non paying customer
Will Iberdrola adhere to the new law or will they find a loop hole to continue with it’s zero tolerance policy of non payment by disconnecting the electricity supply without notification?
In my article from March 2012, “Getting cut off is worse than a trip to the dentist”, I stress the importance of checking your electricity bill gets paid, even if you have a direct debit arrangement with a bank.