Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Still Waiting But Not Holding My Breath

As promised, here's an update on the July 2nd post which described the cavalier attitude of my local natural gas utility, Philadelphia Gas Works, (PGW).

In an effort to determine if it is really PGW's policy to perform no follow-up after it issues "hazardous condition" warnings to its residential customers and refuse to return to the premises to turn back on appliances which they technicians turn off, I called PGW's Communication Specialist, Rebecca Carroll.

I received her voice mail so I left a message advising her that I was interested in obtaining information of PGW's policy for handling the aforementioned situations. Within a few hours Ms. Carroll replied with an email and an attached copy of PGW's Parts and Labor Policy. (pictured at right)

Feeling sure that I probably had not been clear when leaving my voicemail, I sent Ms. Carroll the following reply. I thought it was only fair to Ms. Carroll that I advise her that I was blogging about my experience. Fair is Fair.

Dear Ms. Carroll,

Thank you for responding to my voice message and forwarding the information on PGW's home maintenance program. However, I am looking for specific information pertaining to PGW's policy on following up with residential customers after the company has issued safety warnings and disabled gas lines to appliances.

The blog post below briefly describes my recent experience and conversations with a PGW supervisor. Based on the supervisor's comments, PGW performs no follow-up with its customers to confirm that hazardous situations have been resolved or to restore disabled gas service to home appliances. I find this response to be very troubling and would like to confirm that it is an accurate reflection of PGW's policy.

The supervisor's response is even more troubling given the fact that the residence in question is home to a senior citizen with chronic and severe health issues.

In addition, to contacting your office I have spoken with State Senator LeAnna Washington's office. I have also filed an informal complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission which provides detailed information about this specific situation. I hope that through these various avenues I can gain a clearer understanding of PGW's policy and be able to share this information with members of my community who may encounter similar situations.

I eagerly await your response either directly or as a public response to the blog post.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter.

As of this post, I have yet to receive a reply. But in all fairness, last Friday was the 4th of July and this is Philadelphia.

However, just in case Ms. Carroll is on vacation, I decided that I'd also share my story with Philadelphia City Councilwoman Marian Tasco and Councilman Frank Rizzo, Jr. ( who did send a reply that his office would look into the matter).

When I hear more on this issue so will you.

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