From the Better Business Bureau South Plains:
The Better Business Bureau Serving the South Plains of West Texas has received nearly a dozen complaints overnight concerning the recent rate hike from Lubbock Power and Light. While the BBB's management understands the public's outrage over the increase, the Better Business Bureau's dispute resolution system is not the best venue for change in this case.
"The Better Business Bureau has traditionally been a forum for consumers with conflicts to work out a mutually acceptable resolution with companies that may have fallen short of satisfying them," says BBB CEO Greg Linder, "but there are situations in which the BBB's process is not the primary avenue for these discussions. If you had a problem with the way your attorney handled your case in court, or the way a doctor performed surgery, or disagreed with a traffic ticket you had received, there are formal mechanisms in place through other organizations that deal directly with that sort of dispute. The BBB is not one of those, and disagreements with billing rates from utilities should be directed elsewhere, where statistical data can be gathered and the appropriate mechanisms for change can be set in motion."
BBBs across the U.S. have historically taken complaints on municipally owned utilities regarding billing disputes such as perceived mis-application of payments or late fees. However, that is where BBB's involvement stops.
The mayor's office and city council members are each better suited to receive such complaints about the actual rates being charged by LP&L. "In this case," Linder says, "a concentrated effort to pool the complaints into one pot would give the powers-that-be a far better idea of the volume of disagreement from the public concerning the rate increase and more solid statistical information concerning a reaction or any possible changes through the appropriate voting members. The BBB cannot become involved in government issues or political problems – that's just not what we do. The Better Business Bureau has acted as an important forum for the resolution of local consumer to business disputes over 866 times in the past twelve months, over 82% of the cases were resolved favorably,but we cannot act as a political caucus to measure the lack of popularity of a city council vote – and with the voting process involved and the level of ire from the public, this is rapidly becoming an issue to be discussed among elected officials."
For a list of City Council members and their contact information, visit the Lubbock City Council website's page: