Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When your Power is about to go out

This is our last post in our series about electricity cuts.  Sometimes the electricity cuts will be planned.
In this case you will receive a letter in the mail about two weeks before hand saying "Please be advised that your Power will be cut on <date> from <x> to <y> for <reason>.  The backup date is <date2> from <x> to <y>"

Often the reason given is maintenance.

Around 90% of the time the work will occur on the first date.  It will almost always be on by the final time listed. The backup date is listed because if the work does not go ahead on the first date it will proceed on the second date.  The second date is given in case of some reason it cannot proceed on the first date.  Usual reasons are storms, excessive raining, or on emergency that takes precedence over the job.

So what should you do in this case?

To get the outage moved you have to have a really good reason why another date is acceptable but the proposed date is not.  This is generally a large preplanned event that cannot be shifted.  The only time we have seen this type of outage moved is for a wedding reception.
It is our understanding that the outage will be moved to the backup date and you have to be very good at arguing to change this.

In order to achieve this you need to call the person who sent you the letter.  Sometimes this will put you through to a call center, if so you need to ask the person "Do you have the authority to change the outage date?"  when they say "no" ask to speak with the person who does have this authority.

The date will not be moved if the reason you give means that it is impossible to ever do the work.  For example if you say you are on an oxygen machine.  The company will say you are always on that machine and therefore there is no reason the reschedule and advise you to make other arrangements.

In those situations we would advise staying with a friend for the day.  After the first date has past, call up your electricity company and confirm that the outage did occur.  If it did not occur, you will need to spend the backup date with your friend also.

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