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Linda Hilton

Reader, Writer, Merciless Reviewer and Incurable Romantic


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Update on the power pole -- yes, I'm screaming

Further update at the end of this, so you don't have to wade through the comments.



The new power pole was installed two weeks ago.  On the Thursday after the installation, I went to the cable company office and explained to them that they needed to move their lines from the old pole to the new one.  I explained that I would not be home on Friday, but I would be here all day Monday, all day Tuesday.  They entered all of this information into the computer and said they would call before confirming the appointment.


They had all of my account information because I was in the office to pay the bill.  They had the bill.  I gave them my address again.  I gave them my phone number again.  Before I had left the office, I received the automated text message that my payment had been applied.


The following week, I waited until Wednesday because had received no call from them on either Monday or Tuesday.  So I called again.  I explained everything again and was told they would call to schedule.  I still received no call.  That was last week.  So this past Monday, I called again.  This time I was angry.  I did not use any bad language, but I was not nice.  The best I could get from them was that they would have someone here on Wednesday, between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.


I reiterated - as I have every single time - that because I have dogs and a locked gate, it is absolutely imperative that they give me a minimum of 30 minutes advance notice of their arrival.  I need that time to sequester the dogs, unlock the gate, or whatever.  I do not sit here excitedly anticipating their arrival.  Sometimes I might have to go to the bathroom or something.


I warned them repeatedly, do not show up in the driveway and THEN call me.  If the dogs are out, it will be that much more difficult to corral them.  I need 30 minutes advance warning.  Period.


So here it is Wednesday.  I overslept, but I had the phone in bed with me, so if they had called it would have wakened me.  I was up by 8:40 anyway.  I had things to do that I put off - like changing the toilet valve - so that I could pay attention to the phone for their call.


I had also given them explicit instructions to leave a message if I didn't answer.  They utilize contractors for a lot of this work, and they have their own phones. I don't answer calls from unidentified numbers, so I did my best to impress on the customer service people that they have to leave a message.


Today I got exactly one phone call.  It was a spam call.  They did not leave a message.


At 3:00, BF decided he wanted to go out to eat.  We would leave the house around 5:00 and be back around 6:30.  We would never be more than 15 minutes from the house, so if/when the cable people called, there would be ample time to get home.


They didn't call.


We didn't leave until 5:20.  We finished eating and headed home about 6:30.  There had been no call from the cable company.  BUT THEIR TRUCK WAS SITTING IN THE DRIVEWAY.


We pulled in and I jumped out of the car to open the gate so the technician could drive in.  Instead, he drove away!  I pulled out my phone to see if somehow I had missed the call, but there had been no call.  While I was looking at the phone, it rang; the caller ID said it was coming from New York.  I am in Arizona.  I almost didn't answer it, but on the chance it was the cable company, I did.


It was them.  I told them I had been no more than five minutes away at any time (a slight lie) but that it didn't matter because they had never called!  And by then their technician had already left!


Well, she called him back and he came in and it was almost dark and he was dressed in shorts and a tee shirt and didn't look like much of a technician. 


Originally, there were three different service lines on the pole: electricity, phone, and tv/internet cable.  SRP, the power company, moved their lines when they installed the new pole.  I had to contact the cable company, since that's my service.  And because my neighbor is elderly and doesn't deal with this stuff very well, I took it upon myself to take responsibility for the phone lines even though I don't have a landline any more.  The pole is on my side of the fence anyway.


The guy from the cable company didn't seem to know exactly what he was supposed to do.  He thought he had to drop a whole new line from the pole on the street, and he was going to need another person and another truck to do that.  I explained -- and he observed -- that all that needed to be done was move the existing line from the old pole to the new one.  He said he could do that himself.


Twenty or so minutes later, he had unhooked the cable lines from the old pole and moved them over to the new pole.  It looked like he was actually moving the phone lines instead, but when he had finished I confirmed with him that he had indeed only moved the cable ones.  He said that there was actually a cable to the neighbor's house, even though apparently she doesn't have cable tv.  (She's had satellite service ever since I've been here, though she may have had cable tv before.)


He said he didn't touch the phone lines.


Okay, fine.


By this time it was almost full dark.  The dogs hadn't been out yet, and there was still the worry about snakes, so we wanted to get them outside to potty before it got completely dark.  BF came out and took a quick look at the poles, and both of us immediately realized the job wasn't done.



This is the old pole, before the new pole was installed.  The orange wire visible at the bottom is the tv/internet cable.  It is attached all the way up the pole to the top, where along with the electric and phone service it comes in from the pole at the street, as you can kind of see here below.



The neighbor's lines all go from the top of the pole directly to her house.  All of the lines to my house come down the pole and are buried underground the rest of the way to the house.


He didn't move the cable off the old pole except at the top.  It's still attached all the way down the pole.


I have to call them tomorrow and go through it all over again.


Thursday update:


They hung up on me twice.


I had to go through the whole recitation of everything that happened THREE TIMES.  Their "technician" had filed a false report about what happened last night; he claimed he called and no one responded to open the gate, but he in fact did not call nor did he leave a message.  When the cable company DID call, I was already home.


The first person who hung up on me insisted that the technician had done what he was supposed to do:  transfer the line.  When I tried to explain that there was still wire attached to the old pole, the customer service person had no clue what I was talking about.  I demanded to talk to a supervisor.  Instead of connecting me as promised, she disconnected me.


The second person who hung up on me told me it wasn't the cable company's responsibility to change the wires; it was the power company's.  I told her no no no no no no and asked to speak to a supervisor.  The supervisor told me she was checking to see if/when a technician would be available.  She put me on hold and I never heard another thing.


I called the power company to verify that it was indeed my responsibility to contact the other service providers.  She said she'd call me back.  I haven't heard from them yet.


While I was on the phone with the power company, I got a text message but I couldn't get to it.


The third time I called at the cable company I got an automated message that I was scheduled for a maintenance call this afternoon.  Never mind that no one had confirmed that schedule with me.  When I finally got hold of an actual person, she reiterated that the technician who was out last night had completed the job and there was nothing else they could do.  I demanded again to speak to a supervisor, since one person was saying there was nothing they could do but SOMEONE had scheduled me for a maintenance call!


The supervisor had no clue what was going on.  I had already gone through this three times.  I was on the edge of serious tears.  Another call came in and I was pretty sure it was someone from either the cable company or the power company.


This time it was another technician and he was on his way.  He got here 10 minutes later.  I had to explain everything all over again while he looked at it and told me the lines had been moved and he didn't know what else was supposed to be done.


"Hello?" I said.  "This line that's coming up from under the ground and is still connected to the old pole is supposed to be connected to the new pole.  Is this so difficult to understand?"


The old pole is getting more and more fragile, by the way.  I took more pictures this morning and it's leaning pretty bad.


Well, he finally figured out what had to be done, and about 45 minutes later the line was moved.  I still have to deal with the phone company, and I'm not even a customer any more so that ought to be fun and a half.


Now I have to pick up some groceries, then replace the toilet valve.  It's gonna be a fun day.