Click below subscribe to my RSS


Powered by FeedBlitz

Monday, October 16, 2006


Extortion is what it is! Poor decent people who strive to pay their utility bills are now being asked to, sorry, forced to pay fee to pay their bills! What kind a &#^#%ry is that? Let me set the plot for you.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, honest hardworking, bill paying, customers of the utility companies would queue up is almost never ending lines to pay their exorbitantly high bills at the utility company's branch offices. Some time ago the idea of a bill paying agency was born. It was like a blessing, the best thing since slice bread! Now you could go to one central place to pay all their utilities!

Seeing the success of the bill payment agencies like, Paymaster and Bills Express, the utility companies, like JPS, The National Water Commission and Cable and Wireless, decided it would save them a whole bunch of money if they shut down their branch offices and allow the bill payment agencies to do the job of collecting.

Now these bill payment agencies were basking in success, now they are collecting for all the utility companies. Now instead of getting a fee from the utility company to collect the payment of a few who found it convenient, they were now being payed by the utility companies to collect from everybody on a full time basis! Oh, Paymaster and Bills Express were now reaping their rewards! Or so you would think! Just a couple of months ago, Paymaster, seeing how they could plunder hard working underpaid Jamaicans and get fat off the spoils got greedy! Paymaster decided that the money the utility companies were paying them was too little, they wanted more! So what did they decided to do? Ask the companies to pay more? No! They decided to target they poor consumer by charging a fee to pay a bill! Yes, consumers were told that they would have to pay a fee for every bill they pay!

OK, paying a small fee for the convenience of paying all your bills at one location isn't that bad, right? It wouldn't be bad if it was a small fee, instead Paymaster has imposed a $30 fee per transaction! Paymaster's main competitor Bills Express, could not let all this loot pass them by and decided to jump in on the action and slapped it's customers with a $35 service charge per transaction! There is no escape now! So if you have to pay your cable bill, light bill, telephone bill and water bill you will now have to pay as much as 4x35=$140 extra on your ever increasing utility bills! What the %#$#, this is ^#%@^@ robbery! It would be somewhat OK for them to charge a fee if consumers still had the option of the utility companies' branch offices. At least their would be a choice.

Who will save the defenceless consumer? The OUR (Office of Utilities Regulation)? Please, they can't do shit! the OUR is like a dog without teeth. When the consumer turned to them for help they outright declared that they can do nothing to protect consumers from this form of extortion.

Although this doesn't affect me as I pay my bills online through the bank, it stills upsets me to see this level of exploitation. And who knows, the banks may be the next ones to jump on the band wagon!

PS: New photo posted on Exotic Fotos.

19 commented:

The name of the post says it all.I thought while reading that it was a flat figure that covers all bills.

I say this time after time people think i'm being a pesemistic bastard.. there is not much of a future left for jamaica. politics, greed and just the disgusting nature of man is killing this country day by day.

Actually, Bill Extort imposed a fee first ($20) and then when PaySlasher jumped on the plundering wagon ($30), they raised theirs to $35.

I too pay on-line and have only had the single dis-pleasure of being forked over for $30.

Get the fugg out of here mannn! I've never heard of any of these services and I'm glad that I don't. Like yourself, I pay my utilities online so this service wouldn't affect me but I'd hate for folks to be extorted like that. That's awful dude... downright... hey, extortion!!!

nowadays it seems like people charge more and give you less.

Bastards! i realised it too. They've got a monopoly now so they're free to do it. They need some competition to put them back in their place.

.. the internet transactions are still free?.. you sure about that?

What a rip off. It's a regressive tax guised as a "service".

When will people really say enough is enough. Their complacency suggests that they're OK wid every-ting. MayB if their favourite DJ got upset about it, they might start blockin' roads.

I start paying online now to avoid the fee till they start charging us online too.

I'm back
I told my Mother about this
she says it's politics
what people need to find out is who owns Paymaster and Bills Express and go to their house and "talk" to them

No Abeni, the bastards are charging per transaction.

So true Taylor!

LOL! Bashmentbasses, Bill Extort and PaySlasher, I like those names you gave them!

Yes Luke Cage, it is extorsion. thank God for online payment...for now.

Leon, more likely the competion would charge a fee, maybe only less than these two.

Well, Island Spice, nothing in life is free, someone has to pay. However we are not charged for the online payments, yet!

Yeah, it is a rip off, Justacoolcat.

Typical Jamaican, behaviour, Melody, we cuss about it but yet we continue to pay. We need to realize that if we don't take serious action, like boycotting these agencies, they will continue to exploit us.

Right now online payment is our best option CD.

That's so true, God's Child, see keep paying more for less these days. I'm afraid to think what your mother idea of "talk" means, lol!

Pay to pay a bill??? Dyam foolisness!! You should be getting a discount depending on how early you pay.

Sheggery (sorry missed the word - not even sure that is how it is spelt, but I am bringing it back). At some point there needs to be better regulation

Not the end of the world - $140 dollars a month for handling all the bills (box lunch money).

My only problem is that as you said, all the self help alternatives have been eleminated except for those who can pay online.

Stunner I must say my two cents on this because I dont think we have been fair to the utility companies and looking at things logically.

Paymaster and Bill Express are separate entities from the utility companies. Paymaster's founder saw a need..persons needed convenience when making their bill payments...they saw this as an opportunity and turned it into a business venture. Bill Express from Grace jumped on the bandwaggon.

It would have been irresponsible of the utility companies to not advise their customers of these options as it reduced disconnections and allowed persons to be reconnected sooner as these payment agencies had longer opening hours and their branches were more widely dispersed.

It also placed less pressure on the branch offices and some companies used it as an opportunity to focus more on service. Yes the bank offered the service but they too had inconvenient opening hours and face it guys even with the fancy online services and ATMs and telescotia/midas...there is a significant portion of Jamaica's population who dont have a credit card, are aversed to using the internet and ATM and telescotia system because of their own fears ot because they are not that literate. Plus some people dont like change and when they will go to paymaster and bill express they are not going online. DO YOU KNOW there are people who if they have 10 bills they go to all 10 offices to pay their bills.

Now that that is out of the way...we understand that the utility companies CAN NOT dictate how these companies operate.

I must disagree with can still make payments at the branch offices free of if you pay a JPS Bill at a JPS office it will not incur a service charge and likewise CWJ. But if you make a payment for another company the you will incur a service if you go to CWJ and pay you TELSTAR or JPS or DIGICEL bill you will be asked to pay for those.

JPS and CWJ outsourced their cashiers to Paymaster and nothing is wrong with that. Outsourcing is common and is usually recommended if the function isnt core to the companies operations. It will help the companies to cut cost which is necessary in being efficient. But the customer doesnt suffer because they can still pay at the branch office where there are paymaster cashiers FREE.

The banks will soon be charging for this service as well. We love to talk and talk but if we had boycotted those services when they implemented the fees then they would have no choice but to drop those charges....but NOOO persons find the services so convenient that they still go ahead and use them although some might mumble under their breath.

All in All let us do our reserach properly before we point fingers at the wrong persons. Stunner if you were to be providing such a service...with the increasing inflation in JAMAICA would you offer the service FREE?

And remember CWJ and JPS arent the only companies you can pay bills for at these paymentt agencies, here are others as you know:
Digicel...Telstar...Anngel..Toll tickets can be purchased there..US Embassy...National Water Commission..King Alarm, Hawkeye, Allied Cablevision, Omni Cable Company, Jamweb, Emoquad and more.

Although it may be true that you can make a payment to a specific utility company at Paymaster if it is located at that utility company's branch office free of charge, not all branch offices have been replaced by a Paymaster, especially in the rural areas. Many of these offices have simply been closed and are now homes to other businesses.

I admire that you have a lot to say, and seem to be very passionate, Deeva. May I suggest that you get a blog of your own. I wouldn't mind hearing some more from you!

Hear the thing now Stunner! Open a chain of internet cafes and charge 15$ for 15 mins. Thats all the time John Public needs to spend to pay light, water and telephone bills and also cable, and they will only have to pay 50% of what they would pay Paymaster or Bill Express! In fact, I think you and I should do it! We'll get rich! What do you say!

NCB now charging $50/60 to pay each bill in branch. I think thye trying to force ppl to do on-line banking.