Memphis Light Gas and Water, the city of Memphis and FedEx are sending 500 cases of water to residents of Flint, Mich. who are unable to use their city’s water supply due to lead contamination.
A press conference is being held at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Jan. 26, at MLGW’s Administration Building First Floor Lobby, 220 S. Main. MLGW workers will be loading a FedEx truck with cases of water at that time.
The bottled water is going to the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, one of the designated collection sites for donated water.
A simple phone call to city officials spurred the support.
“When Bernal Smith of the Tri-State Defender called the city to ask if there was something we could do, this seemed like the most logical step,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland. “I’m grateful to MLGW President Jerry Collins Jr. and FedEx for responding so quickly, and I hope it will encourage others to act.”
Collins added, “We are fortunate to have clean drinking water in our city, and we believe that Flint residents will be able to recover as long as cities like ours continue to help.”
FedEx is playing a key role as well. “FedEx is committed to helping the citizens of Flint, Mich. who are affected by the water crisis,” said Neil Gibson, FedEx Services vice president of corporate communications. “Working together with The Water Source and MLGW, we are mobilizing our transportation network to deliver 12,000 bottles of water to those in critical need.”
The water crisis started in April 2014 when the financially strapped city switched its source of water to the Flint River. Previously, the city bought its water from nearby Detroit. The Flint River water was so highly corrosive that it damaged the lead pipes that it flowed through.
Tri-State’s president and publisher Smith is glad that Memphis is helping the distressed community. “I would hope that if Memphis was suffering like Flint, other cities would reach out to us as well,” he said.
The co-owner of a new restaurant in Cordova momentarily panicked. Someone claiming to be from Memphis Light, Gas and Water threatened to turn off his electricity if he didn’t pay his utility bill within 30 minutes.
“It was scary,” said Giampaolo Ongaro, co-owner of the new Crazy Italians Restaurant in Cordova. “Once they knew I wasn’t going to fall for their trap, they hung up.”
MLGW and the Memphis Police Department are urging everyone not to fall for the scam.
It’s a scam that utility companies across the U.S. are battling. The culprits often use phone “spoofing” technology, which makes your caller ID display what appears to be MLGW’s number.
It’s also possible that the scammers may know personal information. They knew exactly how much Ongaro’s bill was for November. In a slightly different scheme, a woman recently bought a pre-paid card for $458 on the pretext the caller was going to help her pay her utilities at a discount.
MLGW never calls residential or commercial customers threatening to cut off utilities or offers discounts unless they receive an immediate payment.
Scammers have targeted mostly small businesses or customers whose second language is English. The call is often from either a toll-free number or from phones that are untraceable.
The caller directs the business owner to go to a certain location like a Dollar General or Ace Cash Express and get a pre-paid or reloadable debit card such as Express Pay or Green Dot MoneyPak.
After a card is purchased, the victim gets a second “spoofed” call which appears to be from MLGW’s call center. The victim is instructed to provide them with the 14-digit serial number from the card. Once they get the card’s information, the amount can be pulled remotely and anonymously from anywhere in the world.
Nationally, the Better Business Bureau reported 73 separate cases of utility imposter scams in North America for 2015. No one is immune. Scammers targeted customers from rural electric co-operatives, publically and privately-held companies. In November, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Consumer Affairs Division alerted Middle Tennessee customers of the scam. Thieves were claiming to be with Nashville Electric Service.
If you get such a call, MLGW and the Memphis Police urge you to do the following:
· Hang up the phone
· Never give out personal financial information over the phone
· Call the MLGW Customer Care Center at 901-544-6549 if you have any
· Report it to your local police station if you have been scammed
· Go to any of the five MLGW community business offices and speak with a credit
MLGW meter readers will be visiting some homes to perform readings this Saturday, Jan. 9.
Meter readings are generally recorded on weekdays. However, to prevent excessively long billing cycles, scheduling occasionally necessitates weekend readings. Some customers can expect to see meter readers this Saturday. Authorized meter readers will always have badges identifying them as MLGW employees.
When an individual pedals the bike, the action drives a flywheel, which turns a generator and charges a battery. This means from just one hour of pedaling, a rural household can be supplied with energy for 24 hours.
The billionaire and his team developed the bicycle to take advantage of mechanical energy created by humans to solve one of the world’s most pervasive problems.
“Everything requires energy. Energy is the great equaliser,” says Bhargava, adding that over half of the world’s population have no access to electricity or access to electricity for two or three hours per day.
Having access to clean, free energy will enable poverty-stricken communities to not only light their homes but to connect to the internet and get educated. Bhargava says the reason the majority of those who are poor stay poor is because they have no power. He aims to fix this with the free energy bicycle.
One bicycle could potentially provide a small village with electricity if each household spends on hour per day pedaling the bike.
In developed nations, the bike could also be utilized to cut energy costs and remedy the obesity crisis.
Our Gift of Comfort program enables you to make a payment of any amount towards a specific customer's utility bill, as a gift. You only need to know the recipient's address. Complete the Gift of Comfort form at mlgw.com/giftofcomfort and follow the mailing instructions or call 544-MLGW (6549).
The Holiday Bill Break starts today. This program ensures that no
residential customers are cut off from December 15 to January 14 if they
have an unpaid balance of $399.99 or less (except in cases of
diversion, safety hazards, or default on special payment plans).