Moving back to El Paso, Texas has had it’s ups and downs. I try to counter ever negative moment I have with the community with a positive one. I often see these negative moments as opportunity to grow. The real question is how to seize the opportunity and help El Paso grow.
I’ve coined a term to deal with some of my frustrations with El Paso: Desertpunk. The term is inspired by Steampunk. Wikipedia describes Steampunk as
Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.
Technology is not one of El Paso’s strong points. There are occasions where El Paso feels 10 years behind current trends. For crying out loud, I rented a DVD from Blockbuster when I first came back!! I use Desertpunk to describe situations that embody this strange temporal anomally where El Paso is 10 years behind most of the country.
El Paso Electric is Desertpunk. I have to mail in a paper form so the electric company can automatically charge my card. I repeat… It is 2016 and the El Paso Electric company is asking that you mail in a paper form so you can set up monthly auto-payments. Yeah, that is pretty lame.
Where There Is A Problem There Is An Opportunity
The El Paso Electric site was built by Stanton Street, a local company that develops websites. I would hope that The El Paso Electric company will eventually see the benefit of making it easier to their customers to pay their bills online. It is a win-win for the company and customers. Customers don’t have to worry about going out of their way to pay a bill and the Electric company benefits from having a guarantee that their customer is going to pay them. I hope the folks at Stanton Street can utilize something like Stripe to set up automatic payments with little effort. If not, I hope they extend their contract with El Paso Electric and extend their billing functionality. I would be willing to be responsible for the 3% transaction fee if they go with Stripe. I don’t want to spend time every month going through the motions to pay a bill when every single service I use offers the convince of automatic billing.