[RFI] Working with the Power Company (was: Privileged treatment)

Doug Rehman doug at k4ac.com
Thu Feb 11 18:28:46 PST 2010

I've had two "trying" experiences with public utilities.

The first was with my cable provider whom I get business class Internet
service from. Lightning took out the cable gateway (modem/router for
multiple static IP's). I call and get a service appointment for the next
day. The tech shows up with a consumer cable modem- gets Internet service
back, but not my static IP's for the servers. He tells me someone will be
back out the next day with the right box. Next day, wrong box again. After
four days without my static IP's, I started doing research. I figured out
the email addresses for the CEO, Regional VP, and Board of Directors. I sent
them all an email detailing my problems with their customer service and
asked it this is what they consider business class service. Within a couple
of hours, the area VP was on the phone with me assuring me their best tech
would be out first thing in the morning and would be on the job until it was
fixed. He gave me his cell phone number and the name/cell phone of their
best tech. In the morning it was taken care of and I haven't had any service
issues since.

The second was with my power company; it's a co-op. One of the hurricanes in
2006 caused an oak with a bilateral trunk to split. Both trunks were still
standing, but one was leaning towards the backstays for the power line
branch going to a large agricultural lab next door. If the tree were to
fall, it would have taken out the backstays and possibly hit the line. I
called the power company and asked that they come cut the tree down since it
was dangerously close to their lines. A supervisor came out and decide it
was no threat. I took pictures of the tree, the power lines, poles, and
backstays. I made a diagram of everything, including distances. I wrote a
letter to the power company's General Counsel, including the photos and the
diagram. The letter notified them that since they refused to correct a
dangerous situation, I would have to do it and would assume no liability for
damages to their poles/lines or the nursery should the tree strike them. A
few days later I got a call from a supervisor letting me know that a crew
would be out shortly to take the tree down- and they did.

I'm waiting on their RFI guy to come out to find a bad noise. Fortunately he
didn't make it out today, because the noise has subsided a good bit. It had
been S5 on 6m and 30 over on 75m. It's only about S8 on 75 today and almost
inaudible on 6m. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so the noise will probably
be even lower (that's been the typical pattern). I hate to wish for the
noise to return to its previous levels, but I hope it does before he makes
it out. They did a good job hunting down and fixing noises for another ham
in our club recently. They actually bought new equipment and brought down
one of the RFI experts to do training.


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