Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ZZ Pizza in peril because of apparent PEPCO screw-up

So according to this article Pepco has a perfectly good, accessible meter at ZZ Pizza downtown. But instead of reading the meter regularly and charging ZZ Pizza the correct amount every month they have been chronically undercharging them since October 2009.

After more than a year of charging too little, Pepco sent ZZ Pizza a bill for $14,000 or, according to another source, $17,000 which they say reflects ZZ's actual energy usage.

ZZ paid what they believed they owed in good faith for more than a year. For a small business to be hit with a bill like that out of the blue is not fair. To Pepco's credit they worked out a payment plan with ZZ, but the unexpected expenses are still a major burden.

In this case Pepco was clearly in the wrong on two counts: first, they should have been reading the meter and charging the correct amount each month. I'm not aware of any good reason why they couldn't do that. Second, if they couldn't send a correct bill each month they should have made sure via personal contact that ZZ Pizza knew they could be hit with a giant bill, and then provided the actual charges well before a year had elapsed.

ZZ's Pizza is suffering as a direct result of Pepco's mistakes. It's one thing to pay for the power one has consumed, and it's another to be crushed under an unexpected debt load as the result of another's mistake. Pepco should recognize its error and reduce ZZ's debt significantly.

Please let Pepco know if you agree. Make sure they know exactly which business you're talking about and what you think they should do.

Props to Mount Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles for supporting ZZ Pizza.

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