Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thanks for ignoring me...

Dear Utility Provider,

Originally I tried to call you this morning to report a simple brownout in my neighborhood, but of course, as usual, you’ve given me secondary reasons to complain.

Do you really have that many exclusive Spanish speaking customers? I know this complaint may be about a non-issue, but it still is a little annoying. I am lifetime fluent English speaker, living in an English speaking nation, who has to provide documentation (at least indirectly) of my citizenship at nearly every business transaction, including yours. If people are utilizing your business on American soil, then it is reasonable to assume they speak English. However, since apparently part of your clientele is non-English speakers, it is an indicator that you may be aiding and abetting illegal aliens. At best, the Spanish menu is promoting non-integration with Americans, and so far the multi-cultural / diversity experiment is failing.

Next on my agenda, I find your computerized switch board’s condescending and aloof attitude rather offensive. How is it the automagic female voice is so sure that my eight a.m. brownout is a non-emergency and deserves no explanation? I am of the opinion that if a business provides an essential service that is supposed to function on a 24 hour basis, that that business should also have 24 hour customer service that does more than take money and complaints of a catastrophic nature.

After nine a.m. finally your computer decided that partial electricity reports were important enough to be put on an estimated twelve minute long waiting list. That’s rude. If I put you on hold for an estimated twelve minute waiting period, can I reasonably expect you to wait that long? No, I didn’t think so. You have better things to do and so do I. Get more people, outsource if you have too (although as an American, I prefer fluent American English speakers).

Now let me explain why my brownout really is an emergency. It’s winter. It’s cold. In brownout conditions, same as with complete power failure, the thermo-coupler (flame sensor) in my furnace does not function properly, and the fan, not at all. The heat is not working this morning. I have children in the house and they are getting cold. Now tell me again that my brownout is not an emergency!

I hope you get your ducks in line soon, because this is insane. Good thing for you there are loopholes around the anti-trust laws that protect utility companies; but I’m sure if I did some digging I could find some consumer protection laws too.

Yours truly,
A Paying Customer

Epilogue: the electricity and heat came back on just as I finished writing this rant, at about 9:30 a.m. Thankfully it only got down to about 62 degrees (F) in the house since the lights dimmed at 7:30 a.m.

 I’ll probably re-write this in a slightly more business-like tone and send it to my actual electrical provider. Then again, I think it’s a fairly good letter.

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