Letters to the Editor

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UTILITIES: Why charge high fee to low-income?

Letter by Lenora Peyton, Tacoma on May 11, 2010 at 5:58 pm | 43 Comments »
May 11, 2010 5:58 pm

Recently I moved from one Tacoma address to another and figured a simple call to transfer my utilities service was all I would need to do. Turns out, I am required to pay a $200 deposit because of my “unsatisfactory” payment history.

I live on approximately $600 a month, and as such have not been able to pay my account off each month. Because of my low income status, I am being singled out to pay an additional fee to switch the service, a fee that is literally one third of my monthly earnings.

Tacoma Power is not my only bill. I also must pay rent, as do most people. However, they seem to have forgotten this tiny piece of information.

Where is the sense in charging a low- income person who cannot pay their bill every month one third of their gross monthly income to a deposit? How is one expected to pay the actual bill, after the deposit?

Lucky me, I can live on beans and rice for a month, for it looks as if that’s all I can afford. Thanks, TPU, for pushing me further into debt.

I demand a logical explanation.

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