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By Brett Gibbons

PALMA
POWER company Gesa has been accused of providing a “Third World service not fit for a banana republic,” by Calvia councillor Kate Mentink.
Angry consumers besieged the electricity suppliers Santa Ponsa office this week after receiving over-inflated estimated bills demanding excessive amounts of money from householders. “It is a scandal,” said the councillor. “It is a service that would not be tolerated in the Third World or a banana republic.” She said she would be meeting Mayor of Calvia Carlos Delgado in an attempt to put pressure on the power firm and take action to prevent another shock for bill payers when the next electricity accounts are sent out.

Councillor Mentink said the estimated bills were higher than the amount that should have been charged for the amount of power used by householders. In some cases, this had resulted in people's payment cheques not being honoured by banks or large amounts of money being taken out of customers' accounts though the direct debit system. “The bills have been for amounts five or six times what is normally used in some cases,” she said. “In most cases bills are at least twice what is normally paid.” Councillor Mentink said she visited Gesa's Santa Ponsa offices and found just one member of staff on duty to deal with the host of complaints from furious customers. She said letters of complaints had also been sent by angry residents to her Foreign Citizens' department at Calvia Town Hall.

Gesa has promised to refund any over payment for customers, but only if they submit a reclaimation compensation demand before their next bill is issued. “I would advise people to take their bills to the Gesa offices in Santa Ponsa. It is shocking that citizens of Calvia have to suffer this appalling service - especially after the problems with the company over the last few months,” added Councillor Mentink.