Doing the Right Thing or Not

Hurricane Andrea blew through last week and caused some flooding and wind damage in our general area. Unfortunately I have a building that is located in a flood zone. The rains weren’t too bad, but the street level is low and at its lowest point there was flooding which wreaked havoc for a moment. We had no idea how high the water level would get, so I called the power company to have the power shut off…better safe than sorry…right?  I’ll admit the jury may still be out on that one. Not because of any doubt about my decision to make that call, but because the power company made me feel like I was being bullied. I’d been given partial instructions on what to do and then punished for doing what I was told.

 I just don’t get it. Why is it that people don’t/won’t/can’t communicate in a way that is clear and concise? Why do they tell only part of the story and cause constant confusion?

I was told that I would need to have the building inspected in order to have the power restored. Not a problem. I called my electrician, had a preliminary inspection done and then made arrangements with the city for an official inspection. I was then told to that the power would be restored within 24 to 48 hours. As far as I could tell, there was no logical reason why it should take more than 24 hours to restore the power…or so it seemed.

After checking in several times and still no power, I decided to contact the power company again to see what the holdup was. There was no major flooding in the area, so there should be no delays. Upon speaking with a representative at the power company, I was informed that my account had been dissolved and I would have to apply for a new account. What sense does that make?! Where’s the logic? Why would a company create such a policy where a perfectly good, paid up account is dissolved because the owner of the account requests the power be cut for safety? Why couldn’t they just reinstate the power under the existing account? It’s not like the power was shut off due to non-payment and even in that, once the bill is paid the power would come back on under that same account…right? So what’s the difference between the power being shut off for non-payment as opposed to being shut off due to an emergency?!

I received a call from the power company wanting to confirm which building needed power. My son and I hopped into the car to race down the road to be present for the reinstatement of the power. Overrun with joy and anticipation I jump out of the car and ask, “How long will it be before the power is back on?” The young man said, “Ma’am, I’m just here to inspect the meter and to see if there is any current going to the building.” Umm, perhaps someone failed to inform this man that the power lines had been cut and there is no electricity going to the building…at all. Well…well, just another useless step in the grand scheme of things. Now I’m told that this man will place a call back to the company to dispatch a crew to reconnect the power. I thought that was what the Inspector was supposed to do…at least that’s what he told me. Nonetheless, a few hours later I received another call from the crew and they reconnected the power lines and all was well.

From the time I called to have the power shut off until the time it took to get the power restored was a total of 6 days. Thanks a lot corporate power company for succeeding in wasting unnecessary time, effort and money…as usual. One would think that you could come up with a more effective way to respond to your customers and a better turn-around-time for completion of services. I guess that would be too much like right, so here we are…trapped. We find ourselves at the mercy of corporate higher ups that spend way too much time on the golf course and are completely clueless as to how the companies they oversee operate.

I tip my locks to you…BRAVO!!!!! (sarcasm)

Bottom line, you just can’t trust what companies tell you. None of their agents ever have the same information. Isn’t there a better way to inform your staff of the company’s policies so they can convey up-to-date information to your patrons? Good grief, did anyone get the memo?

Perhaps more companies should be run by spectrumites like myself. Patrons would never have to worry about the head games these companies play. At the very least we would be sure to properly inform agents and patron of rules and procedures.

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