Sunday, July 1, 2012

Utilities Owe Us Reasonable Service!

As a monopoly that is granted the right to serve an area, utilities owe consumers a fair deal. I do not think we are owed much in this world but this contract with society makes utilities a quasi-government agency that is guaranteed a profit. In exchange utilities are expected to give customers fair and reasonable service. When a utility does not treat its customers fairly it should expect consequences.

In the city where I live we are serviced by Indiana And Michigan power Company, also known as I&M. A hard blow ripped through the city Friday afternoon, the storm about thirty miles wide originated in Indiana and went all the way to the East coast. It left many without electricity as it tore down trees and wires. As I bang this out it is Sunday evening, well over sixty thousand in our city remain without power. I have traveled back and forth across town since the storm and have not seen one I&M work truck.

It seems our electric provider that recently asked for a 22% rate hike has decided to concentrate and "complete" restoring service in smaller and less affected areas in northern Indiana before moving repair crews to Fort Wayne. They are calling for work to be completed late Wednesday night. I consider this to be an unfair and downright stupid work plan. Fort Wayne, the second largest city in Indiana, is densely populated, we deserve the same service and priority treatment from this monopoly as its other customers.

I have to wonder if I&M allowed hard feeling towards the city and its administration to influence its repair schedule. It recently lost a court battle that cost the company millions. Is this pay back? My neighbors and I continue to swelter in our dark homes, the food in our refrigerator and freezers has began to spoil, and businesses remained closed. I would say to those I&M executives who have made this decision, you better be ready to defend it as questions will be asked.

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