“That reminds me of us being “pothole free by 2003”. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

“My comments are not fit for air play…kt”                        

“They full of crap my light bill no stop go up right no my bill is 10 mash and i’m not doing anthing different the meter reader no stop stay a u neighbour yard and read u meter them need competition”

Those were a few of the comments on the “Beyond the Headlines’” FB page, following JPS’s announcement that the company could lower electricity prices by 40% by 2015 by building a new power plant powered by natural gas.

Yes, there were a few fairly positive comments, such as this:

I welcome the announcement.sounds good.i see some ifs and buts there,so lets wait on the results!”

However, we also got calls and scores of texts, the majority of which were hostile and disbelieving.

No surprise there.

High electricity prices, a perceived alacrity to cut off customers’ electricity and bad customer service have combined to create a customer base that is extremely hostile to the Jamaica Public Service Company and believes the company is only out to gouge the consumer.

JPS  is clearly hoping to get public opinion and advocacy on its side, to push the government to take quick action on the natural gas project.

The problem for them is that their wider customer base hates them. I don’t think I’m overstating it. Mention JPS and calls start to flood in from people who can’t understand their high light bills, and can’t get any answer from JPS other than the directive “You have to pay it.”

Lower prices would help. So would a regulatory authority that the public believes actually stands in the breach for them. But that’s for another time. In the meantime, JPS has a lot of talking to do.