The Artist formerly known as Cybele24 (rightsaidred) wrote in bad_service,
The Artist formerly known as Cybele24

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Xcel energy drama

So the power in my apartment went out last night. After checking all my fuses and such, and that wasn’t the problem, I called my property manager (he lives across the hall) and had him check electrical thingies downstairs. He tells me that the power company has a box of wires down there they, not the landlord, keep locked up, and the problem might be there, and to call the power company. I called the power company’s automated line to report the outage. The automated system tells me it should be resolved in 4 hours. Well, I’m a little skeptical of that, seeing as it’s 10:30 PM at this point, but I figure someone will be out early in the morning. Next morning around 8:00, still no power. I call again to speak to a real live person. They say that since only my apartment is out and not the rest of the building, it probably isn’t their problem, but they’ll send someone to check my meter anyway. Apparently, the landlord has already called them, because I get a call from the tech, Steve a few minutes later.

Steve tells me he isn’t coming. Because if only one apartment is out, it has to be an internal wiring problem, not a power company problem, and I should check my breaker box. Le duh, I have done that. Then he says he cannot legally enter the building. I know this is BS because our damn METERS are in the building. If I stopped paying my bill, you can bet your ass they would find a way to get into the basement to turn me off. Politely, I explain to him that each apartment has a separate meter, and they are all inside in a basement room and that my landlord has said there is a box down there that the company keeps locked with their lines running out of it. He tells me he can’t come in because he doesn’t have keys to the meter room. I tell him it’s unlocked, and besides the property manager is home, he could let him in. He still refuses, saying that if there’s nothing wrong with the meter, it isn’t his problem, but that he won’t check the meter because it’s inside. Despite what I’ve sai to him, he seems insistent that there is somehow one giant magic meter outside that somehow keeps track of the energy usage of all 14 apartments. Throughout the whole thing he is constantly interrupting me and refusing to listen to a word I say.

I confess, at this point, I lost it a little. I have had the month from hell, with a death in the family, missing finals, having three incomplete grades hanging over my head, inheriting responsibility for my three screaming teenage in-laws and no top of all of that I have aquatic turtles that need their heater and basking lamp to live, and our apartment is friggin’ COLD despite the heat (separate from the electric system—we have old school steam heat). So I say “Let me get this straight. I call the company you work for, they say they are sending a tech. And you, the tech, think you have the right to just say, ‘screw my boss, I’m not going to work today’? You’re a lot of friggin’ help.” And I hung up, because I could tell I wasn’t getting anywhere and I knew I would say something far less polite if I kept talking. I call the landlord and explain, he asks for Steve’s number, which I give him, praises be to the cell phone gods. He calls the guy and soon Steve is outside examining the outdoor wires. John, the landlord goes out to talk to him. And here’s where it gets interesting….

He acknowledges to John that he is indeed supposed to come in and check the locked box in the basement, but he won’t do it… because I was MEAN to him. John got on the phone with Xcel to try to get another tech. Not sure what eventually happened, but it must not have been an Xcel problem after all, because two hours later I had beer-gutted private electrician at my door and a few hours later I had power again.

Still, there’s NO WAY the Xcel tech could have known for sure that it wasn’t his problem without coming in to check the wires going into my meter. I’m still pretty pissed about it.

But I gues one good thing came out of this: I was supposed to make up an exam today, but I got it rescheduled for Monday so I could sit home in the gloom and wait for the electrician.

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