Power Play: The One Where Met-Ed Held Our Power Hostage for 27 Hours

The Power Company, also known in these parts as Met-Ed (First Energy), pulled a power play on us last week.  Last Tuesday, as a matter of fact.  Just as I was getting ready to fix Little Dude a hot breakfast and get myself a cup of coffee to get started on visiting all my RTT peeps, the power went out.

Normally we expect a power outage when the weather is wild and crazy, and once in a blue moon it’s gone out on a perfectly sunny day like last Tuesday was, but very rarely.  I heard an odd banging on the side of the house outside the kitchen window, so I started to head out to investigate.  But only got to the back door.

When I opened the back door, there was a 2-page paper jammed into my screen door – it was a notice from Met-Ed that proclaimed: “We have shut off your power”.  Apparently they were under the impression that we were in arrears on our bill by two months.  Even though we’d made a regular monthly payment on August 2nd, and it was now only September 11th.

We are on a monthly payment plan to help ease us through those months where we’d be using an atrocious amount of electricity, so it’s evened out over the 12 months instead of a roller coaster amount.  Having the same amount each month is obviously much easier to budget around.

Even though the bill isn’t due until the 10th each month, the hubby pays it online as early as the 1st so he doesn’t forget (he is, after all, the Absent Minded Professor).  He has, in the past, paid it late.  But we’ve never had our power shut off for late or non-payment in the 12+ years we’ve been a customer.  Until now.  For technically being one day late on our September bill.  Without forewarning, no notification – absolutely no contact from Met-Ed at all.  WTH?

I tried calling the hubby at work, which took over an hour to accomplish since he was teaching class – I needed clarification from him since he pays the bills and I had no idea what had been paid and not been paid, all I had to go on was the paper the power company left tucked in our back door.  The hubby called the power company and got it all straightened out, but they still refused to come turn our power back on until the next day at the earliest.

According to them, they are under no obligation to turn power back on for at least 24-72 hours.  Even though they made an error in turning it off in the first place with no warning whatsoever.  Needless to say I was not a happy camper, so I called them and got passed around to several people, until I finally ended up with the rudest most cantankerous customer service person on the face of the planet.

Apparently common courtesy and customer service is a lost art.  At least for those employed by Met-Ed.

She was being extremely rude and condescending to me, practically threatening to make me wait the full 72 hours before getting my power back.  The only way they will restore power the same day they shut it off is if you have a medical condition (that you have to prove by way of a doctor’s note) or if you have an Order of Protection against someone.  Wonder if I could get an Order of Protection against them?

Having small children in your house no longer applies towards the urgent need to have electricity. I simply said “Thanks for nothing” and hung up on her.  We were without power – due to Met-Ed’s error – for 27 hours.  And I doubt that they’ll give us credit for the lack of power.  Not cool Met-Ed, not cool.

Which brings me to this week’s question:

Have you ever had your power shut off in error by the power company?  If so, how long did they make you wait before it was turned back on?

Have a great weekend.

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Happy Aloha Friday!

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From Kailani at An Island Life:
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22 thoughts on “Power Play: The One Where Met-Ed Held Our Power Hostage for 27 Hours

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen. I once had the power shut off in an apartment I rented due to some kind of leak, and it stayed off all winter. It was horrific.

    I’m be pissed at that cojpany. You should file a BBB complaint.
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  2. I haven’t had it turned off in error but my power company has been know to just lose power for no reason i’m aware of and of course because of hurricanes I have been without power for a week due to Katrina and two days due to Isaac So sorry that happen
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  3. Not the power, no. But one day Beloved and I were home for lunch, when a young woman came stomping through the back yard; we thought she was the meter reader, perhaps. A few moments later, we noticed her in the front yard, accompanied by a gentleman, and they had opened a small hole in our front yard and were jamming a long, metal rod down the hole. Since we have a fire hydrant right next to our driveway, we thought they were attempting some sort of maintenance on it, perhaps.

    After awhile, it became clear they were having a great bit of trouble with it, so I went outside and asked what was going on, and if we could offer any assistance. They then informed us they were turning off our water due to non-payment. Or they would be, if the valve controlling the whole kit and kaboodle would cooperate – it seemed it was stuck.

    I was stunned; we pay our utilities automatically through our bank every month (it turned out to be the bank’s fault; there was some sort of snafu and the check for the water did not get sent). To make matters worse, like your case, it was only a week overdue, and we’d received no notice that our water was being cut off due to non-payment. I had to run down to city hall and write them a check – and then they demanded we pay not only the current bill, but the month that was coming due!

    We haven’t had any problems since, but you can bet I watch those automatic bill payments from the bank like a hawk now.
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  4. I have nt had it turned off on purpose. It did go out for 1.5hours this week but the wind did it. I think it’s outragous that they would do this to anyone. I’m so glad you brought this company to my attention. I will keep this in mind if I know anyone living there.
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  5. Wow ~ that is SO wrong!! Really – you need to turn that complainat into the local better business bureau or to your local News Channel to investigate for you and let people know! That way the power company GET IT??!!!! Happy Friday to all!
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  6. Shut the front door. I would be taking hostages. That is terrible! You are to be commended for not ending up on your local news! You might look into setting up automatic bill pay online with your bank… We (ha. My husband) has done it and it is such a time saver
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  7. Can’t say that I have had this happen, the power company obviously made a mistake and should have bent over backwards to make sure your power was turned back on, there is no excuse for rude customer service reps.
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  8. That is terrible, I can not believe they would shut off your power, when you have been a loyal customer for 12 years and then on top of that not to be able to enable straight away is awful customer service. Not having any electricity in the house would be so difficult as well, I would definitely change companies if I was in your position.

  9. BULLIES!
    Why does this stuff happen to Stacy?
    I hate when there is a lack of any kind of customer service as well, no matter who you are. This reminds me of the stories about people who were accidentally foreclosed on. What a friggin’ nightmare!

    Have a great weekend!
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  10. I am sorry you are having to deal with that nonsense! I haven’t had it happen to me (knock on wood) but I would be very irritated if it did. I guess since there’s only the one power company in the area (unless I am mistaken?) they feel like customer service in non-essential. Good luck!
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  11. Nope, never happened to me, but I had my mortgage company pay someone else taxes & they were going to sell my house for taxes if I didn’t come up with the money. Washington Mutual – big jerks!~ We went straight to our bank and change mortgages. What a nightmare that was.
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  12. Grrrrrrrr. I HATE bureaucracy! It’s sad how many people in “customer service” jobs are miserable pains in the butt. Is it the job that makes people nasty? Or do nasty people gravitate to the jobs? So sorry this happened. I’d be spitting bullets.
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  13. I lost power for more than a month after a hurricane a couple months ago. It took forever to come back on it was very hot outside. Luckily, we have a generator and will always have one after that experience.

  14. Being without power sucks but the reason for the nastiness was because she didn’t believe you. Which is so wrong, so very wrong. I use to sit next to the collection department at the Bank. The employees became mean and nasty. They usually had a high turn over and many admitted because they didn’t like who they became. They heard so many stories that were not true that they began to not believe anyone and they said it was no fun. I am not excusing her behavior but all she had was a computer screen telling her you were late and you on the other end claiming you were not late. It is frustrating for everyone involved and they get too hardened which is the reason many end up quitting.
    I told them, “I could never do your job and would hate to listen to all the sob stories.” Sometimes it was hard to listen to people who really were late and had some really sad stories and yet they owed the money. My heart was breaking when they would tell the stories. Yeah, I couldn’t do their job at all but being rude is not the way to treat any human being and as you can tell I would get in trouble for being too nice :)
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  15. Hello, so sorry to hear about this, it has not happened to me yet, but this is disgraceful, it is the companys role to keep you happy and fulfill their duties and it seems that they certainly aren’t, it makes things a lot harder when you have children too, I would definitely file a complaint! Thank you for sharing.

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