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Saturday, November 24, 2021

No matter how well-intentioned, the concept of giving a friend or loved one “energy gift certificates”, to be redeemed on the monthly utility bill, seems sure to inflict grave insult.

[Orange & Rockland Utilities spokesperson Guy] Peifer said the certificates were a good idea for people who were difficult to buy gifts for, since they already “had everything,” as well as senior citizens and others.

“It’s a thoughtful and practical gift for a friend or loved one on a tight budget or living on a fixed income,” Peifer said.

Basically, you’re telling the recipient that you know that they need help paying the bills, so your gift to them is to cover the lights and heating for the winter. Nice. No awkwardness there!

If you’re going to do that, you might was well just pay the bill directly and not bother with the actual paper certificates. They don’t accomplish what gift certificates/cards are supposed to do, anyway: Encourage the recipient to spend the value of the gift amount plus more (which is not possible — you can’t tack on an impulse purchase to the monthly gas/electric bill).

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 11/24/2007 04:33:02 PM
Category: Business, New Yorkin'
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