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.
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.)
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?”
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?