The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Opinion

April 1, 2014

Viewpoint: Frequent outages more than inconvenience

For some three years in an area west of Park Road, between Eighth Street and Creedmoor Drive, which includes the entire Longfellow Woods subdivision (and perhaps adjacent streets), we have experienced repeated momentary of hours-long power outages. These would occur perhaps once every three to four months, until the past six months when the frequency has increased to every couple or three weeks — twice within the past 10 days.

These are more than a minor inconvenience. Aside from the loss of electrical light, a power loss triggers alarms on certain security systems; electric heating systems systems shut down; digital clocks must all be reset; computers must be rebooted; certain kinds of TV and landline phone systems become inoperable; water-softener times must be reset; refrigerated food is endangered; and timed ovens go off, the cook having only an estimate of how long the contents have been baking.

Repeated phone calls to the Anderson Utilities “Outage” number go unanswered. So, rather than mail recent payment to Anderson Utilities, I went to the office and asked the receptionist if I might speak to someone about the problem. She went into a nearby cubicle which bore a sign “Customer Service,” and emerged to say that no one was immediately available, but offered a “new” telephone number that she suggested I call. When I returned home, I saw that the number was the same one I had repeatedly called before. Nonetheless, I tried the number again, but finally hung up after I had counted 18 rings.

Now, it appears there may be three problems here:

• This public service monopoly regards with a grand indifference its responsibility to provide residential customers dependable power at those rates which it recently increased;

• Its alleged “customer service” is a ruse to fend off the nuisance of customer calls; and/or

• Management is simply not able to provide sufficient wood to fire the primitive steam boilers upon which its system operates.

Fix it!

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