Monday, November 11, 2013
Dialog with DP&L: Don't try this at home
Thursday morning about 9:00: a call to Dayton Power and Light (DP&L).
Me: I'm calling to have service transferred to a house I just bought. The address is blah blah blah. I need to have it done as soon as possible, please.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: I can't transfer service. We already have an order to cut off service at that address today.
Me: That's unusual. I guess the previous owners did that. I wonder why they would do that. Well, just leave the service on and sign it over to me. Here's my account number.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: We can't turn it back on until tomorrow. The order went out with the technician at 7:00 this morning to shut it off.
Me: Can you just contact him and tell him to leave it on?
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: I can send him a page if you're at the house, and you verify that it hasn't already been shut off.
Me: I'm not at the house, and I can't go over there until late this afternoon. Why don't you just send him the page and tell him if he hasn't turned it off, he should leave it on? And if he has turned it off he can just ignore the page.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: I can't do that, ma'am. I can only page him if you're at the house and can verify that the power has not been turned off.
(Repeat the above 4 sections about 7 times.)
Me: That doesn't make sense. It's just a page. If it's not off already, we can avoid the gap in service if you just page him now.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: Ma'am, I cannot page him unless you are there and the electricity is still on. The technicians receive the orders at 7:00 in the morning and then they go out and work all day. (Raising her voice.) They work from 7:00 in the morning until midnight. I cannot send him a page unless you are at the house and the electricity is still on.
Me: I would think a guy who is going to work 17 hours today would appreciate a page either way if it would mean he didn't have to go out today to turn it off and then go back out tomorrow and turn it back on. It's not going to hurt a thing if it's already off and you send him that page, but if it is still on, it will save him two trips to the house.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: Ma'am, I really can't do that unless you're at the house and can verify that the power is still on. You have to be at the house or I can't send the page. Also, you'll have to go to the house and turn all the breakers off so he can turn the power back on. The breakers have to be off.
Me: I don't need to turn off the breakers if you send the page and stop the order. You can send the page. For some reason you don't want to. In fact, in the time it's taken you to tell me the same illogical thing over and over again, you could have sent out at least 5 pages.....
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: I will not send a page unless you are at that house. Do you want to call me back from the house?
Me: No, I can't get to the house for hours. By then I'm sure the technician will have been there, because I do not believe he's going to wait until midnight to do it. You could make life a lot easier for him and for me if you'd just send that page.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: Ma'am, I am not going to send a page unless you call me from that address.
Me: How would you even know where I was? I could call you back in 10 minutes and tell you I was there. Nothing you've said has made sense. I don't have to go to the house for you to send a page. Just let him know and we'll be done with this.
Annoyed DP&L customer service representative: That is not our policy.
Thursday night at 8:30 I go to the house, and, using a weak flashlight find my way to one of the back rooms in the basement to the breaker box, where I shut down all the breakers.
Friday afternoon: 4:00 pm. I'm at the house and the electricity still isn't on. I call DP&L and get a different customer service representative.
Me: You were supposed to turn on the electricity at my new address today. Can you tell me when that might happen? I want to make sure it's still going to be turned on today, because I haven't been able to do any work here.
Second DP&L customer service representative: You didn't make an appointment for your power to be turned on today. In fact, there's a note on your account that says not to turn it on until you call from the house and say that the power is off.
Me: What? I was never supposed to call from the house. I told the woman yesterday that I couldn't call from the house.
Second DP&L customer service representative: Well, there's a note that says you said you would call from the house to verify. You didn't actually call to have your power turned on. We can turn it on Monday.
Me: No, Monday is too late. You were supposed to turn it on today. I did call to have it turned on. That's the reason I called. The woman I talked to yesterday was mad because I wanted her to page the technician. She hung up on me. She did this on purpose so I wouldn't have electricity over the weekend.
Second DP&L customer service representative (still being friendly even though I probably sound like a raving lunatic): Ma'am, our technicians went out with their orders at 7:00 this morning .....
Me: I know all about that. One of them should have had an order to turn on my electricity, because I was told by that unfriendly customer service representative yesterday that it would be done today.
Second DP&L customer service representative: I'm sorry. The note says you had to call first.
Me: And I'm telling you I told her I couldn't go to the house and call. I told her that at least 5 times.
Second DP&L customer service representative: The best we can do is to send somebody out Monday between 7:00 am and midnight.
Me: No, that's not the best you can do. You can page somebody and send him out today like you were supposed to.
Second DP&L customer service representative: If you had called back yesterday ....
Me: I never agreed to call back yesterday. Wow. She really got me, didn't she? All she had to do was put a note on my account that says something I never agreed to and I'm without electricity for 3 extra days. If she had sent one stupid page this would have been avoided.
Second DP&L customer service representative: Ma'am, I can have one of my supervisors review the tape from yesterday if you'd like.
Me: What I'd like is for you to turn on my electricity, but if having your supervisor review the tape will make that happen, go ahead.
Second DP&L customer service representative: I'm going to put you on hold then. Just a moment .....
Bad music plays loudly for about 4 minutes. I pace as the sun starts to sink below the tree line.
Second DP&L customer service representative: OK, ma'am. My supervisor is going to review the call. It will take a few minutes ....
Me: Oh, the call took more than a few minutes.
Second DP&L customer service representative: Well, then, would you like to remain on the line or should I call you back?
Me: You should call me back because now my phone is dying, and I have no way to recharge it because I don't have any electricity!
Second DP&L customer service representative: OK, ma'am. I'll call you back at that number after the call has been reviewed.
We hang up. I pace some more.
Second DP&L customer service representative (calls back in about 5 minutes, less time than it would take to listen to that entire call): I'm sorry you had to wait, ma'am. We reviewed the call, and you did call to have the service turned on. We'll send somebody out this evening before 10:00.
Me: Really? That's great. Thank you. I appreciate that you took the extra time to find out that I was telling the truth.
Second DP&L customer service representative: Yes, ma'am. It does seem the other representative was a little testy.
Me: Yes, she was. And so was I with you just now. I apologize for that. None of this was your fault.
Second DP&L customer service representative: It's OK. I understand why you'd be frustrated.
Me: I really am sorry I took it out on you though. You've been very helpful. Thank you so much.
Second DP&L customer service representative: You're welcome. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: No, just the electricity will be fine. Thank you. Good bye.
About 9:30 that night my son Drake and I go over there with a friend he brought home with him. I take the ever weakening flashlight down the treacherous basement steps and flip on the breakers. Nothing. Not one goddamn thing.
We go through the house with our cell phone flashlights.
Saturday and Sunday afternoons I go over to tape off and paint in whatever light is coming in through the windows.
Monday morning about 9:00 I call again.
Me: The electricity was supposed to be turned on at blah blah blah on Friday. It's still not on.
Final DP&L customer service representative: Have you looked at the color of the tag?
Me: I have no idea what you're talking about. I'm not at the house because I don't have any electricity. Could you please just make sure it's turned on today?
Final DP&L customer service representative: Let me check ..... Ma'am, the technician turned on the service at that address on November 8.
Me: That was Friday. The service was not on Friday, I promise you.
Final DP&L customer service representative: All I can tell you is what's in your record. He said he turned it on November 8.
Me: (sigh) OK, I'll go over there and see if it's on this time. Thank you.
Final DP&L customer service representative: OK, ma'am. It should be on. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me: No, just the electricity will be fine. Thank you.
Final DP&L customer service representative: You're welcome. Have a nice day.
Believe it or not, when I went to the house and flipped the breakers, the electricity was indeed on. I have no idea when it was turned on, but I had lights today to illuminate the corpuscle room's slow transformation.
Somebody is very lucky I didn't have to call DP&L again .... and it's probably me. Bitches can hurt a persistent, logical customer with just a note. You do not want to piss them off.
Oh, the joys of owning a home again. I'm smiling as I write it.