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WE have The Power! | 01.04.2004 16:42 | Cambridge | London

Power-Not-So-Gen-erous - or, how a corporation will do anything to drive down its costs.

I woke up today to find that I have no electricity. I get out of bed, go to the meter and press the 'Emergency Credit' button.

Nothing unusual about that you may think, except today I've found out that I can no longer get cards from my Local Post Office, as Powergen in their INFINITE wisdom have decided that they prefer to sell them at Petrol Stations instead. The nearest one to me that sells the cards being about a mile's walk away - good news if you're a pensioner or disabled then.

This is a nationwide policy, meaning that quite literally overnight, thousands of customers' swipe cards have been rendered useless (creating whole worlds of problems in
trying to get the replacement card before the credit in their meter runs out). It also means that local Post Offices will no longer have this source of income.

I have been informed, that, despite the fact I'm still on emergency credit as I write this article, it may take up to a week for the new card to materialise.

Oh, and if I get down to my last 50p of emergency credit before the payment card turns up (which is likely), I can call their "Help"line again to get someone to come out and put some EXTRA CREDIT into the meter (which will put me even further into debt of course)!!

That begs the question - how many thousands of other people are going to be in the same situation as me..?

It's the usual story of a corporation trying to drive down the cost of a commodity by going to the cheapest supplier, regardless of the consequences this may have to other businesses or communities.

If you're in the same situation as me, (of which I'm sure there are many of you out there reading this who are), don't just meekly accept this as another 'one of those things' - support your local Post Office, get out there and do something about this!


You can start by flooding their hotline with complaints (0800 183 1551), then, next find out where their nearest branch office to you is and send 'em loads of complaints - hell, even PICKET them if you have to!

Here's an address to send complaints to, to get you started:

Powergen Retail Limited:
PO Box 7750,

Also, start up a petition, a press campaign - any, all or more of these things - just don't let this corporation drive another nail into the collective coffin of our already beleaguered Post Offices.

This is NOT an April Fool's gag (but that it were), this is the real thing!!!

WE have The Power!