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Duquesne Light and The Storm of 2010

This is both a Kudos and Rant article (along with the handout of a Clueless Trophy), so read the whole thing, not just the part that you agree or disagree with.

The first thing we need to do is give some huge Kudos out to the workers out fixing lines for Duquesne light and all the other companies that worked fixing lines during and after the storm.  They did extremely dangerous work out in conditions we were all advised to not go out in to … for any reason.

Although, most people will immediately say they get paid enough … sorry, but when your job includes the possibility of death to help people out, you can’t put a price on that.

On the other side:

The best way to make things worse as fast as possible is to stop giving out information, refuse to give out information, or just plain make information inaccessible during a crisis situation.  This seems to be Duquesne Light’s standard mode of operation. This is not a blow to the customer service persons at DQ, but a slap in the face to those that make the policies (the written and unwritten ones):

Hence my conversation with customer service (once I actually got a person):

* …… them

+ …… me

+ “Can you give me some an ETA or any information on what is going as because even people at the warming shelter or borough offices have no info? I’m sure a tree, or line is down.”

* “I can only give out the information they give us, I only have that information.”

+ “Can you tell me what was reported by the tech for the outage in our area … lines down, etc?  I’m not expecting any ETA, just info that can make me decide whether or not to relocate my family temporarily.  It’s a long and dangerous drive to that area, so I need to know what put’s my family in less danger.”

* “Sir, I only have the information they have given to us.”

+ “Can you tell me that information then, I would be grateful for any info that would help me make my decision”.

* “All I have is the information they have given us”

+ “Who are ‘they’?”

* “Them.”

…… I couldn’t make this up if I tried.  The conversation was much longer, but I cut out the repetition.

The only thing that was out to the public and recorded messages was Duquesne Light boasting how many people they had restored, no specifics, regional information, nada …

At one point they even took their site down, and stopped giving recorded information, or even taking any calls.

So, when you see a Duquesne Light truck with workers that probably risked their lives getting your Wii back on Friday or Saturday during the storm, thank them and buy them dinner …..

On the other hand, if you see any management from Duquesne Light …. tell them how much of an #%@#%# they are.

So Duquesne Light gets the the full Clueless Trophy they deserve from SWB.  Keep this in mind, Allegheny Power probably didn’t do any better than Duquesne Light during this storm, but their reps did talk and give info out to their customer, along with keeping KDKA regularly updated with more than rhetoric.

-SWB

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