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Hot enough for you?

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A reader still without electricity in Little Rock is steamed, figuratively and literally. She wonders if others have encountered similar difficulties, including a snippy Arkansas PSC staff. Her tale on the jump:

So, after trying to report my outage to Entergy for 2 days (the system could not 'find' my information, disconnected me, or put me in infinite loop), I finally was able to report my outage to Entergy.  First cust serv rep hung up on me.  Second refused to give me contact info for legal/complaints, and upon complaint to PSC, I was scolded (see below) for not reporting sooner.  Note, I charged my cell phone at gym and at work so I could call repeatedly to the 1-800 outage number in the evenings.  Any other customers having such lovely service?
 
PG

--- On Fri, 9/5/08, Consumer Issues <ConsumerIssues@psc.state.ar.us> wrote:

From: Consumer Issues <ConsumerIssues@psc.state.ar.us>
Subject: RE: electricity outage in Arkansas
To:

Date: Friday, September 5, 2008, 10:11 AM


Dear Ms. XXXXX
 
It is our understanding that Crews are currently on site working this situation.  Review of your account with Entergy reflects only one report of an outage made yesterday regarding any outage in your area.  In order for this Commission to track the outages, the customer needs to contact the utility to report each occurrence.  Every customer in an outage area should call as well so there is a record to review.
 
Across all the Entergy service territories, as of 5 this morning slightly more than 700,000 customers remained without service.  That was after 148,000 total customers were restored.  At this time, the Commission is aware that 14,500 Little Rock Entergy customers out of 74,500 statewide customers are still without power. The Commission is receiving updates. Please remember that Safety policies prohibit use of bucket trucks when winds are above 30 mph, and those conditions have been prevailing the past few days.


I regret that your power is out, and you did not get the answers that you wanted.  All the Electric utility companies have been hit with this storm and are working as fast as they can to restore service.  All we can ask is that customers please be patient and make necessary arrangements until their service can be restored.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Harris, Consumer Service Analyst

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: PG
Sent: Friday, September 05, 2008 8:30 AM
To: Consumer Issues
Subject: electricity outage in Arkansas

 

Dear Sirs,
I am writing concerning Entergy Arkansas and the atrocious service and response I have received over the years and as of late. Of course, my most recent and ongoing concern has been no power for 3 days, no estimate of when power would be restored, trying with NO success to REPORT the power outage for 2 days, when finally reaching someone being hung up on, and then when calling back, being told that 'people in New Orleans had to get hotels' and staunch refusal to provide a contact number, name or address where I may file complaints with Entergy and seek legal recourse.
 
I had my 70 yr old, disabled father sitting in the dark the entire day Thursday.  He rode a Veterans Affairs Van 5 hours to reach Little Rock on Thursday in order to be present for a 6 am surgery on Friday which he has waited on for over 10 months. Medical preparation requires bathing with a special antiseptic the night prior to the surgery, and I had no lights or hot water in order for him to safely ambulate, bath, and sterilize the area. In response to this, the second customer service rep with Entergy, not the first, was 'sorry' but less than enthusiastic about offering any information, help, or empathy.  In fact, she made repeated excuses about how crews were sent to the coast, but could not answer whether they were even back in the state and working on the problem.
 
I have lived in many states and many places similar to Little Rock geographically and on parity with population.  I have never had power outages in excess of 2 days except in Little Rock,AR.  I have never had power outages on a frequency of every 3-6 months except in Little Rock, AR.  I have never had a power company care so little and have the attitude that 'I talked to my supervisor, and she told me we are really not responsible' except with Entergy in Little Rock, AR.  Why are expectations and service so low with Entergy?  Why does the PSC not hold Entergy to standards upheld by utility companies elsewhere in the United States?
 

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