Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Letter From the City

The other day we received a letter from the Utilities Department of New West.  “That’s odd,” I thought; we rent so the only bill we get is for electricity, and I was very certain our payments were up to date on it. 

Turns out it was a letter to inform us (to paraphrase) “you seem to be making payments on the wrong account number – please make payments to this number instead,”  all written in very nice bureaucratese. 

I appreciated this letter for two reasons.  One was the fact they even sent it.  Someone picked up the fact we were paying on an old account number, corrected the payments and sent us a note with all the information we need to avoid the problem again.  Almost every other time I’ve had an account number change (not just with utilities, also credit cards and other accounts), no one told me.  I just noticed that a month or twos worth of payments were missing, and had to sit on hold for 30 minutes to talk to someone and then wait for three weeks for the payments to get moved around.  So to get a courtesy letter saying this is happening is much appreciated. 

But what really struck me about the letter was it was hand signed.  Not just printed off and mailed, not just a photocopy of somebody’s signature, but someone actually signed the thing with their own hand before sending it off.  Maybe it’s just me, but I appreciate the fact that even for something as trivial as this, someone has put their name down as responsible for the matter.  I would thank them by name, but I can’t read the signature.  So I will give my thanks to the New West Utilities Department as a whole – little gestures are appreciated. 


  1. Dang! Now that is what it is all about! You could probabyly call that person up and she/he would actually REMEMBER your name.

    That is old school.

  2. After Surrey and Vancouver for the past ten years, it was definitely a surprise. Kudos to them.