Tag Archives: NYSEG

Trouble Tickets

Trouble Tickets

Utility companies have trouble tickets.  Repair personnel are typically rated on how quickly a problem is resolved.  When I worked for a certain telephone company, I complained about such policies.  The reason is, closing a ticket when a problem isn’t resolved may make for great report numbers, but bad customer service.

Such is the case with NYSEG today.

Fallen Tree

Around 1pm, or so, a big dead tree broke and fell in to a house.  On its way it took out a utility pole and wires.  This resulted in my entire block being without power.

After about an hour, I reported the outage.  At the time I reported it, they were unaware of any outage.

Around 6:30pm I checked the NYSEG website and it claimed power was restored at 4:30pm.  Ahhh… someone closed the ticket so the outage duration would be shorter.  (My guess is they have a goal of a 3-4 hour resolution time.)

Wire Watcher

So, they assigned a wire watcher.  This guy’s job is to sit in his parked truck near the downed wires to make sure nobody gets close to them.  During the time he was sitting there, the outage was reported resolved at least 3 times.  Each time I noticed, I reported it not being resolved.

YOU THINK THEY WOULD KNOW!!!  THEY HAD THE GUY THERE IN THE TRUCK!!!  THEY COULD HAVE CALLED HIM AND ASKED, “Has a crew been out there to fix the problem?”

Or, they could have called a customer, like me, and asked, “Mr. Walton, do you have service now?”

Unintended Consequences

This goes back to unintended consequences.  You make a stupid goal like, “4 hour problem resolution”, and so people get their annual raise, the close the ticket at 3 hours 45 minutes.  As a result they know darn well someone will call and complain and a new ticket will be created.

In the end, no single outage last more than 4 hours.  Statistically, it is better to have a lot of 3 hour outages than one 36 hour outage.

At least, that’s how it worked at a certain phone company many years ago.

Reported Up Again

It was reported up again at 9:30pm.  That’s funny.  The only guy out there from 6:30 to 9:30pm was the wire watcher.  He was most likely on Facebook or playing games on his phone.  How else does one stay away when their only job is to sit there and make sure nobody gets near the wires.  Of course, who the heck would be out walking around on a blustery night like tonight?

Breakfast for Lunch

Breakfast for Lunch

Our bishop/home teacher (he’s both) invited us to breakfast at lunch time.  (Yes, you can do that sort of stuff when you’re retired… the bishop… not me.)  We had a an enjoyable bacon, eggs and pancake breakfast and then a home teaching lesson.

It’s funny, yesterday morning the place was covered with snow, and today, it is melting as fast as it was falling the day before.   As the temperatures warm, all of that thick wet snow is disappearing.

On our way to the bishop’s house, there were a couple of trucks out front.  I noticed an orange NYSEG truck.  When we came back, one of our maple trees was gone.  All that was left was a stump and sawdust.

You’d think they would contact us.

“Hey, we’re going to cut down one of your trees and haul it off,” is what I would expect to hear.

Strange.

I’m not sure who to call.

“Hey, did you cut down my tree?” would be a question that I’m sure would result in a day of being transferred all over their phone system.

And, who said they can have all the wood?

Do I have to cut my trees down and split the wood before they get to it?

Is this a race to see who can cut down trees first?

I wonder if they have a lady there named Lucy.  I’d like to contact her and say, “Lucy, you got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.”

Something tells me if I offer to let them keep the wood in exchange for a lower gas bill this winter the they are just going to laugh at me.

U.S.G. & E. – Buyer Beware

Deregulation, in my mind, is a good thing. But, with all business transactions, you’ve got to beware. With gas and electric, deregulation has lead to all sorts of providers to choose from. Well, here’s a story about one…

I was approached about 18 months ago from a guy who was re-selling gas and electric services. I could tell by the way he was talking, it was a multi-level marketing (MML) thing, and I made it clear I was not interested in participating in MML. But, I told him I would look over their product.

The talking-points to sell their services were: 1) guaranteed lower prices for 12 months, and 2) a rebate of 12% of the highest month’s service at the end of the 12 months.

Sounds great, huh?

I read over the stuff, and it really appeared like this was a great deal. Our highest bill is usually around $600. 12% would be about $72.

The rebate came today. It was $7.59.

When contacted, U.S. Gas and Electric, Inc. (of N. Miami Beach, FL) informs us that they only rebate the portion of the bill that is their part. In other words, they were tagging their charges on to NYSEG’s charges, and only rebate that portion.

What a scam.

That’s not all.

So, during a 12 month period, your paying charges that are saving you a bit. Then, when you get the 13th bill, watch out. The prices really jump. And, when you call to switch back to NYSEG there is a delay. So, for a month, two, or three, you’re paying USG&E’s high rates while you wait for the switch.

The person I feel really bad for is the guy who got suckered into re-selling this service. It is so unfortunate that so many MML plans feed upon the unsuspecting. I’m not the type of person to hold a grudge. The guy who signed me up for this plan, I’m sure had no idea what was going on. After all, he only recently got in to it, and he’s probably as mad at USG&E as I am now. Further more, he’s probably wondering what his friends think of him. I know if it were me, I’d have a hard time looking my friends in the eye after discovering what I talked them into.

Of course, it is not just MML schemes re-selling. We’ve got letters from all sorts of companies promising lower rates and rebates. I bring up the MML because they rely on friends and contacts to grow their businesses with small returns.

Let the buyer beware when it comes to these things.