4 In Your Corner helps veteran with power company issue

CREATED Nov 19, 2013

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Southwest Florida veteran turning to 4 In Your Corner for help after running into a roadblock while preparing for a move.

A longtime customer of the LCEC is being asked for a bigger deposit and a notarized lease, and he wants to know why.

Iraq War vet Darren Hart is trying to enjoy Tuesday lunch with his family at Southwest Florida's military museum. But he has a lot on his plate.

"When you're moving, you don't need stresses like that," say Darren. He's talking about power company LCEC. Darren says it's making a simple transfer of service for his upcoming move difficult. 

"She said you have to have the lease signed and notarized, in front of a notary. You have to get your landlord to meet you, which is a hassle for him. He doesn't want my hassles," says Darren about his conversation with an LCEC call center representative.

But as a 9-year customer with a deposit on record, Darren and his family contacted 4 In Your Corner for help. So we went to LCEC spokesperson Karen Ryan for answers.

"When the previous tenant leaves a bad debt, we do require the new tenant to have a notarized lease. And this helps protect them from having to be responsible for the bad debt," says Ryan.

Reporter: "The new customer is obviously a different name and different account number, how could they end up being responsible?"

"Sometimes, they (the former tenant and new tenant) actually know each other, or it's a family member," says LCEC spokeswoman Karen Ryan. 'There's different situations, so that helps to protect that person from getting that bad debt," she explains.

Ryan says the former tenant of Darren's new house owed money.

"Coincidentally, the same day that Mr. Hart called, the previous tenant paid their bad debt. So everything Is now free and clear," she says. 

And that's good news to Darren Hart's ears: "This is great, it's a stress off my shoulders." 

Electric service is set to be turned on November 27th.

LCEC just earned a recognition of excellence for its call center. We're told they'll go back and listen to the call to to see if there was anything different the rep could have done. And if so, the situation could be used for training.