CUC chases deposits

| 10/03/2010

Cayman Islands News, Grand Cayman headline news, CUC(CNS): Following a number of reports to CNS that customers were being asked to give financialdeposits, CUC have confirmed that a review of their customer accounts has led to some people being requested to supply a deposit or increase the amount held on account with the power supplier. One person complained that although they had been a customer since the 1970s and had never once missed a payment, the power firm had written to them demanding a $2,000 deposit, which they found excessive and unnecessary.  In a statement to CNS, CUC said it had a policy of requiring deposits from all commercial customers.

“CUC has a longstanding policy which requires its commercial customers to pay a deposit which covers forty-five days of service,” the power firm stated. “A review of our commercial customer accounts that have hit the delinquency list in the recent past found that there were approximately 200 customers who did not have a deposit on file, or whose monthly bills exceeded their deposits.”  

Some CUC clients had raised concerns that the firm was asking for far more than would cover one month’s billing, which was confirmed by the statement that makes it clear the requirement is closer to six weeks. Moreover, many of the complainers said they were long standing customers who were not delinquent.

The firm said that it was writing to several customers who did not have a deposit on account to regularize the situation but did not state if those customers were only those who were late with paying bills or whether all commercial customers were being asked for the up front money, regardless of their payment record.

“The company has written to these customers requesting that they place a security deposit on their account. The deposit will earn interest at the going rate for certificate of deposits at local banks which will be credited to the account on a monthly basis,” CUC stated.  

The firm went on to say, “Unlike other businesses where payment may be demanded before the good or service is provided, the manner in which our service is metered gives the customer up to 45 days of credit from the time that the electricity is used until a bill is received.”

Independent MLA for North Side Ezzard Miller said the move by the monopoly power was highly inappropriate given the circumstances. "It is terrible for CUC to extort more deposits from people during this tough economic time when they are already struggling with the cost of living," he added.



Category: Headline News

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What about if they collected from that politician who went almost 1 year without paying them?

    Talk about bias!

  2. Fuzzy says:

    Perhaps instead of Mac going ahead with cruise berthing facilities he should ask the Dart Group  to provide electricity islandwide and compete with CUC.This is one way to ease the cost of electricity which would save everyone some money and even reduce Govt Expenditure.

    • Anonymous says:

      Fuzzy by name fuzzy in thinking. That is not legally possible and would mean another lawsuit and liability for govt. Even if it were possible for McKeeva to do that it would not reduce the cost of electricity. Do you not understand that if you duplicate poles and wires it is the consumer who has to pay for these so that you would end up with 1/2 the number of consumers paying for the same transmission and distribution system and therefore the cost must necessarily be higher. It truly baffles me why so many of the public do not understand this but assume that more than one provide NECESSARILY means lower prices. And please don’t write nonsense that I must work for CUC etc etc. 

      • Fuzzy says:

        To Anonymous Thu..22:59.Perhaps you should be reminded that with Mac all things are legally possible. Maybe you are new to the island and are not aware that Cable and Wireless had a monopoly and a long term contract but Mac broke that monopoly and now they have competition.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Get newly rehired manager Joey Ebanks (remember him)? to get things right at CUC.  His effectiveness as Manager, Customer Service back in (2007 and prior) did the company proud.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In response to Gig at 22:38, I’ve had the same experience whereby I went in to apply for new service at CUC and was told I had a balance dating back to 2004. Of course I was shocked to hear this knowing for a fact I had no remaining bill but, I was more than surprised when the clerk told me the balance was for an address I’ve never resided at!! I also didn’t have any evidence to show that I was correct in my argument and after a few days of darkness and fighting this issue, the company remained firm in their decision not to grant me service until this amount was paid and I had to end up getting someone else to apply in order to obtain electricity. As far as I’m concerned, they can implement as much charges as they desire and some of their staff can continue to personally scandal customers who are outspoken but, it won’t change the stand I have taken when it comes to the foolishness some customers have to put up with when it comes to CUC. I know they’ll be there waiting this time next year for me to pay that bill that was probably created by some staff member that has issues, as usual. 

  5. Anonymous says:

    I got one of those letters too! I want to see CUC make good on their demands because I don’t think they have any legal ground to stand on. Make them come and cut me off for not increasing the deposit. Do they want to have a media war? Bring it on!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can personally attest that the 2 letters I saw are NOT deadbeats. So please speak of what you know. Would you guys like to see a copy of the letter? It makes no mention of delinquency being the reason either – just says they need $2k since a deposit was never received.

    The 2nd letter said they need additional $400. That person works for a local bank and does direct deposit – again – NEVER LATE! CUC IS COMPLETELY BEING RIDICULOUS AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    The public pays for CUC’s license, now we have to subsidise the bills that are not paid.

    I wonder if we will have to pay more if the civil servants’ bills are reduced

    It seems that CUC can never make a loss and we are the ones who pay even with the cost of living going up every week

    • Anonymous says:

      A don’t forget how we bailed them out with a Hurricane Ivan surcharge for at least a year after the storm!

      • Only One 'Real Truth' says:

        By time they done with us, do you think they will bail us out?

        Think again!

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s easy to play hardball when you have a monopoly and a weak regulator.  It’s not uncommon for arrogance to pervade the business ethic of companies who lack competiton, and this is what we see with CUC. 

  9. Anonymous says:

    CUC ? or  FORTIS  !!

     

    The majority share holder of CUC is NOT Caymanian.So i know who’s trying to get every last dollar,look to the FAR NORTH, Ehhhh !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is not CUC a CANADIAN own company?

      • Anonymous says:

        CUC is traded on the TSX(Toronto Stock Exchange).

        Anyone in the world is free to buy shares in the company (and that includes whiney Caymanians).

        Caymanians have to stop crying about how they are gettng screwed by expats.  If it were not for all the expat talent that has worked on this island Cayman would never be the fifth or sixth largest banking center at best it would be a third world country.

         

        • Fuzzy says:

          To Anonymous Thu..13:50,and if some of you had not come to Cayman ,you would not be as well off as you are .It works both ways..

  10. Anonymous says:

    We need competition, and quickly.

     
  11. Gig says:

    CUC IS USING PEOPLE!  I KNOW THIS FOR A FACT!

    Some years ago, CUC call me [won’t give the name], demanding that I pay them monies for an apartment I use to live in long time ago, OR ELSE THEY WOULD DISCONNECT ME. The amount was in the hundreds, including the bill I presently had. I investigated and found out that the apartment was not rented by me during the time they said I accrued the bill. I had no record to redeem me from paying the bill, but they had it in their system that I lived there at the time. I asked, why after so many years they just added this amount to my present bill. It was so long time ago and I could produce any papers to prove I wasn’t living there during that time. 

    I THOUGHT STRANGE, BUT CUNNING!

    People, their demand had cause so much pain and stress upon me and my family. I even consult certain people "high-up" on how I could deal with the company. I consulted so many people to help me, but that was unsuccessful. I was told CUC was a monopoly, has taken people’s money before, and there is nothing the Government can do about it, because it is right now preoccupied with the country’s debt.

    Out of fear, I had no other choice, but to pay them hundreds of dollars, almost to a thousand dollars. IT WAS THREATENING! To cut off my light, my electricity. Think of it!  How could anyone function well without light, stove, fan, and a refrigerator.

    IT WAS ECONOMIC CONTROL!  I TELL YOU NO LIE! 

    They use people who don’t have no money to fight them back!  THAT MONEY I PAID CUC COULD HAVE BEEN USED FOR MEDICAL EXPENSES!  THEY CAUSED SO MUCH PAIN AND STRESS UPON ME AND MY FAMILY.

    I WILL NEVER FORGET WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO ME!!!  YET I BITE MY LIPS, STILL PAY THEM AND JUST CONTINUE WITH LIFE!

    • Anonymous says:

      I sympathize with your sentiments. I know my mother one time had a bill from them that was inaccurate. It showed an inaccurate balance, a claimed "mistake" on their part.

      So I know CUC can easily take advantage of people. When they say you owe them, WATCH OUT – that means they will disconnect you if you don’t pay on the due date.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Is Cayman Islands set for a major Malthusian catastrophe, remember that the percapita income is quite high despite the population being small. Therefore with the problems of trying to balance the budget as a result of expenditure to schools, government building and roads and now CUC demanding more deposit would be a sign that the high cost life has been on increase faster than the wealth supply. This seems to have reached a resource limit , and any further increase would result in a economic crash.

    With providers like CUC things don’t just happen, they are strategically placing themselves to avoid a business loss, The company most likely has analysts who have seen this coming.

  13. Anonymous says:

    One word MONOPOLY!!!!!!!

    this is the only reason they get away with what they are doing.

     

  14. Anonymous says:

    Typical CUC. Always pulling out the shaft when times are hard on their customers.

    I say. ignore their demands, pay your normal bills and let them cut you off for the unfair deposits. Then take them to court and enjoy lots of free light thereafter.

    Just have a Generator handy to keep your electrical requirements flowing while you use their own shaft on them.

    What will they think of next?

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting…

      If 20 people came together with generators, CUC wrongfully disconnect them, and these 20 do to court, I wonder what will be the result?

      Would they win?

  15. Fuzzy says:

    THE Cayman vs Costa Rica girls U17 match can be found http://www.concacaf.com

  16. Debt Collecta says:

    Best new of the year so far. Now, Mr. CUC, when you done with these people, please send your boys over the HSA to assist incollecting all of the outstanding debts there. When they done with that, if they still got time if you wouldn’t mind letting us borrow them for a while longer, we could really use with them to help with the collection of all outstandinggarbage fees and bokk fees.

    Thanks heaps.

    The People Who Pay For The Entitled.

  17. Anonymous says:

    During these tough economic times it’s really sad to see CUC take such a position – demonstrates what "great corporate citizens" they really are – and McKeeva is asking them for a civil service discount? Don’t hold your breath!!

    Honestly, if they never collected a deposit that is there own fault – no fault of the customer. Trust me – CUC does NOT allow you to NOT pay. If you don’t pay you get cut off – and you can’t live in a house without electricity – so who has the upper hand?

    Of all the times to ask for a deposit I think this is truly disgusting. I hope the regulatory authority looks into this. In addition, I’m fairly certain that CUC is asking for deposits from customers who have been good paying customers – therefore they are seeking to unilaterally change a consumer’s contract – how can that be legal? I suspect customers come forward and report CUC.

    Looks like we really do NEED consumer protection in the Cayman Islands!!!

    SHAME ON YOU CUC!!!! SHAME SHAME!!

  18. anonymous says:

    electricity does not grow on trees…

  19. Anonymous says:

    This will back fire on CUC. This is a stupid idea. I received such a request and I have been a customer for over 17 years, paying every month on time and I will not pay this. I suggest that everyone that receives this request ignore it…it cannot be legal for them to shut off your electricity if you have paid all of your normal bills.

    The ERA needs to look into this immediately. It is highly unlikely they have the legal right to now demand a deposit.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I paid a CI $200 deposit over 20 years ago. I had forgotten about that! Wonder how much interest they have made on my money?

    • Anonymous says:

      If you look at the bottom of your CUC bill you will see a DEPOSIT INTEREST credit on your account.  That’s CUC paying you the interest they earn on your deposit as they are not allowed to benefit financially from the deposits!

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree with you! I would like the interest to be paid to me now – how about it CUC? Where’s my money?  Oh yes, when is the deposit supposed to be returned – no good to me when being carried out in a box – where will my deposit + interest go then?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Business community has economic woes also. Just kick them when they are down CUC. Where will the local businessperson run to after disconnection???to pay no doubt..so make life harder by adding to the woes. Govt end this monopoly .

  22. Anonymous says:

    CUC is being greedy. If this were a longstanding policy then it would have been applied from the outset. It should now only be applied in respect of those who have a track record of deliquency. Does the ERA have anything to say about this? 

    • The Real Truth says:

      What is greedy about a company trying to collect what is owed to it? If the CNS story is true, then the people who are being asked to increase their deposits are those who it seems are not paying their CUC bills on time and in some cases the bill is more than the deposit. In these hard economic times smart business people had better ensure that they can stay afloat and keep outstanding debt to a minimum. I wonder what CUC will do if some of these same companies go under and leave large outstanding bills? With no deposit, you may have to eat those costs. Not good!It is time we start accepting our responsibilities, and pay our bills on time. While you are at it quit the complaining, if you owe the company money.   

      • Only One 'Real Truth' says:

        Ahem…

        Sir or Madam

        1. Either you work for CUC,

        2. Not Caymanian,

        3. You are too well-off to know what people are going through; or,

        4. You have buddies and pals in CUC!

        But please spare us all from your ignorant comments about responsibility!

      • Anonymous says:

        "If the CNS story is true, then the people who are being asked to increase their deposits are those who it seems are not paying their CUC bills on time". 

        I think you need to read the article again.  

    • Common Sense says:

       Silly you….look the the members of the ERA and tell me one that is not a shareholder in C.U.C.  The ERA is only there to bless C.U.C’s greedy plans.  It is still unbelievable that a company can get a guaranteed double digit ROI.  If C.U.C. does not make it’s profit plans, they are allowed to raise rates…what a crock.

      • Anonymous says:

        Here are the Board members. Perhaps you can tell us which ones do own CUC Shares.

        Sherri Bodden-Cowan (Chairperson)

        Kenny Ryan (Deputy Chair),

        Charles Farrington,

        Kenny Hay,

        Tristan Hydes,

        Sam Young,

        Derrick Tibbetts,

        Philip Thomas (Managing Director),

        Mike Herland,

        Winston Hay (Consultant to the ERA)

        Sammy Jackson

        Darrel Rankine

        Kearney Gomez

    • Anonymous says:

      How could they only apply it to those who have a track record of deliquency? If they don’t have money to pay their monthly bill, where would they get it from to pay the bill plus a $2,000 deposit?

      Maybe they (CUC) weren’t asking for any sort of deposits back in 1970 but they’re doing it now; and they are going over their records to see who hasn’t paid up. But I do think that it’s a little extreme that they’re even asking this person for one- as long as he/she is a good customer, it’s not their fault that this policy wasn’t first implemented years ago. But I agree with you when you say that they are being greedy, at least in my opinion. Everybody in this island (except for maybe 2%) has to pay a CUC bill, they of all people shouldn’t be bawling about the economy..

      I guess with the unstability of employment these days, they like everyone else, have to try andcover their backs. Maybe they feel that a particular business could close down any day and the owner could walk away owing them thousands of dollars..

  23. Anonymous says:

    fair play to cuc, keep chasing all those deadbeats out there….

    remember all of us good customers end up paying if they don’t pay…

    • Anonymous says:

      It is fine to chase the deadbeats, which incidentally is simple for CUC to handle – cut them off! However, those of us who have been long standing citizens with solid track records of full and timely payment of our bills should not be so penalised. Their records should show who they need to do this to. These are difficult times and this action only shows CUC’s insensitivity to the needs of our society right now. This could be seen as a fine example of greed. .

    • Anonymous says:

      You must work for them!!