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58 is great
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DTE
« on: May 24, 2013, 09:51:51 AM »

Last night, my family along with approximately 1600 Warren residents was left in the dark. The power went out about 9:30p.m. and was restored around midnight. Of course my kids were not happy campers. When the t.v. and internet go down, things become dicey. I reported the outage right away, and this morning I received a call back from DTE. The message was quite detailed about the cause of the outage, and a phone number was left for me to call, if I had further questions. This is the first time I have had this kind of detailed message. Is this something new? Just wondering.
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mcalum8
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2013, 08:26:46 PM »

I am speaking from my own experience and am not directly speaking on behalf of DTE Energy(legal disclaimer), yet I have firsthand knowledge as a call center rep. The entire company IS working to get better. As I see it, our organization has had lots of changes internally for years but until recently we have not been able to show this to the customers at large as far as explaining problem resolution(there are reasons for this but I will remain silent on that matter). Process improvement has allowed call center reps. to see the past history of outages for the last 16 years rather than 3-6 months as before. If customers are dissatisfied with power quality(i.e. repeat outages in a short span of time), there is a phone # that can be provided to the customer upon request to the company. Choose the other issues option in the main menu, option 5, when calling 1-800 477-4747 to get info on power quality. The power quality specialist can give you specific information on the nature of an outage more than just the log that the rep. can see.  If you call the company and the individual on the other end does not give you the  phone #, PM me and I will get it when I return to work.
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Wotan
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2013, 08:57:10 AM »

Even it is reported, documented, and on file that a neighborhood has had
very, very, very frequent and multiple outages on sunny, windless, non-stormy days
in addition to having a major, horrendous issue with COUNTY owned trees, branches, etc.
falling on the wires - DTE still treats residential customers poorly.

This is from personal experience and an ongoing battle for DTE to step up it's game.

Living in Warren, a LARGE metropolitan city with 100,000+ customers in Michigan,
and NOT out in the boonies with 1 house per 25 square miles of land,
a resident shouldn't be forced into accepting outages on the order of 12 times a year.
I've been forced into UPS systems for computer equipment, data, business dealings.

The streetlight replacement program on major streets screws over ANY resident living with 1/4 mile
of the new Nuclear Yellow Suns emitting a Bazillion Lumens per Micosecond on a pole 300 ft in the air.
Backyard evenings after 10pm still require dark sunglasses and suntan lotion. I can tan at 3am in my backyard.
They should have a "cutoff" fixture that can shade the light from spilling into adjacent properties.
UNFORTUNATELY the DTE Corporation simply ISN'T taking streetlight complaints.......(because they care soooo much)

Personally I think the DTE monopoly needs competition before they'll change their ways.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 09:12:28 AM by RedRun » Logged
mcalum8
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2013, 03:44:50 PM »

DTE Energy accepts street light complaints, so I am not sure what you're talking about. And the city of Warren was the one who wanted the lamps replaced. Your buddy's friend Bill Gambill was the one who wanted this program.

Oh and as I have said several times before, all utilities are monopolies. I'd like a better water dept. Maybe you could start one?
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 04:42:32 PM by mcalum8 » Logged
pistonfan053
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2013, 05:31:18 PM »

I have had to deal with DTE Customer Service numerous times for various issues, and I have had no problem with them responding to my issues. 

Reading RedRun's post clearly shows me that he is uneducated in the topic at hand.  A few points:

1.  Every goddamn utility in the state and country is a monopoly - water & sewage, gas, electrical.  All of them are all HUGE monopolies.  If I want water service from somewhere other than DWSD, can I do it? Nope, because DWSD is a city-owned monopoly.  The only utility that I would not consider to be a monopoly is Cable, Internet, and Phone Services -- more than one company is available for that.

2. If you have issues with the power going out 12 times in one year, then you should probably look at something closer to your house as the source of problem.  My house was built in 2006 so my utilities are buried underground, and I have had two power outages in the 7 years I lived here.  One time was caused by a tree falling on the wires that power my neighborhood grid, and the second one was a transformer that went bad at 2am in the morning and almost exploded.

3. It is industry standard to plug all computer equipment into a UPS, in the event of a power surge, it protects the equipment.  I have all of my computers, televisions, and other "delicate" equipment (except the fridges and freezers) plugged into UPS devices.  That was recommended to me by the WOW technician who installed our Internet and Cable Service.

4. If your power is indeed going out 12 times a year (which I honestly don't believe) and you do believe it is caused by trees in the "Red Run Easement", then why don't you call your buddy the Mayor, or his Public Services Director, or Mr. Marrocco over at the County Public Works Department, and tell them what is going on and that they should look into it.  Simply calling DTE each time your power goes out (which, again, I don't believe is 12 times a year) and bitching to them that its the trees in the easement won't do you any good.

And, also, as mcalum8 stated already, the street lights were replaced under a grant program controlled by the Mayor's Buddy, Mr. Gambill.  If you have a problem with the street lights near your home, take it up with him or your Buddy the Mayor.
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mcalum8
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2013, 05:43:42 PM »

Several options for utilities are impossible. Here's a scenario that happens ALL the time. Neighbor A's line from his house falls down in neighbor B's yard as the transformer is in neighbor B's yard. The line runs diagonally. If neighbor A has DTE Energy and neighbor B has Red Run Hydro power energy, who responds? Same thing for gas leaks at the street, probably even worse.
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Wotan
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2013, 08:34:29 PM »

There are those who believe they are informed and aren't..........

DTE sent me a letter on their own letterhead documenting the outages,
--much of which has nothing to do with trees in good weather----
DTE sucks when it comes to preventative tree cutting and the contractors doing the work will admit it.
The contractors return time after time to the same areas to ""trim trees" growing on COUNTY owned land.

Transformers pop like mufflers backfire on this side of town.
DTE is slowly, slowly pulling the records and starting to realize that fact.
Literally hear them BOOM a few times a year around this neighborhood.
Plan on 6 - 12 hours to replace on of those because it's an involved process.

City of Warren is NOT the one replacing streetlights on major roads.
It is strictly DTE and the city wants no part of the responsibility.
The new streetlights are obnoxiously intense and actually annoy many people.
The catch,  DTE doesn't give a damn, won't reply to complaints.

I've tried multiple times to file complaints on DTE streetlight site
and every single time, it comes back - """Sorry Can't Process""
Written streetlight complaints via other online mechanisms for DTE
 - a complete ZERO response - perhaps due to the fiasco in Detroit.

« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 08:55:01 PM by RedRun » Logged
mcalum8
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2013, 08:52:21 PM »

How about calling 1-800 477-4747? That's the easiest way.  Roll Eyes Select option 5 for other issues.
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RealWorld
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2013, 11:00:29 PM »

I have had to deal with DTE Customer Service numerous times for various issues, and I have had no problem with them responding to my issues. 

Reading RedRun's post clearly shows me that he is uneducated in the topic at hand.  A few points:



2. If you have issues with the power going out 12 times in one year, then you should probably look at something closer to your house as the source of problem.  My house was built in 2006 so my utilities are buried underground, and I have had two power outages in the 7 years I lived here.  One time was caused by a tree falling on the wires that power my neighborhood grid, and the second one was a transformer that went bad at 2am in the morning and almost exploded.

3. It is industry standard to plug all computer equipment into a UPS, in the event of a power surge, it protects the equipment.  I have all of my computers, televisions, and other "delicate" equipment (except the fridges and freezers) plugged into UPS devices.  That was recommended to me by the WOW technician who installed our Internet and Cable Service.

4. If your power is indeed going out 12 times a year (which I honestly don't believe) and you do believe it is caused by trees in the "Red Run Easement", then why don't you call your buddy the Mayor, or his Public Services Director, or Mr. Marrocco over at the County Public Works Department, and tell them what is going on and that they should look into it.  Simply calling DTE each time your power goes out (which, again, I don't believe is 12 times a year) and bitching to them that its the trees in the easement won't do you any good.


Agreeing with anything the above-mentioned has to say is always questionable.

I do not live as far north as he does(but close) and I can assure you the the power does go out at least 12 times a year at my home. Granted only but a couple last for any significant time frame,  and then generally due to a plausible cause such as extreme adverse weather conditions. I to have all sensitive equipment plugged into surge protectors. Still an inconvenience to come home from a long hard days work and have to reset all clocks operating electrically as well as resetting all the presets on my AVR including over 50 radio stations. My home was built in 1967 so I don't have the luxury of buried line drops.

Last summer I noticed the light on my interruptible service box was flashing intermittently. I called DTE and a tech was dispatched. No resolve, not even a courtesy door knocker to indicated they had, in fact been out. I had to call again. I was forced to have the call escalated to a senior advisor as the lower level rep offered nothing but lip service.

When I finally reached a rep that had some intelligence, he concurred that the flashing was not normal( certainly not a test light as the second servive tech indicated in an attempt to brush me aside).

The bottom line is that this well versed rep got to the bottom of the issue and it was finally corrected.

I have kept his name and extension as it has been necessary on subsequent occasions for him to get DTE to admit false readings and over charges to my monthly statements.

It is virtually impossible to get these utility companies to admit guilt and accept responsibility(sound like someone else we know leading our city).

Anyway, I have been so very grateful to this man at DTE for taking my complaints seriously and reaching a resolution.
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mcalum8
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2013, 07:16:03 AM »

The flashing for longer periods of time is definitely not normal. IAC's are to be 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off for a maximum of 8 hours during peak periods of demand(i.e. usually June, July, Aug.). If the red light is on longer than that, give us a call for sure. If there is no light at all(not green), also give us a call.  This problem is to be entered as a partial outage in our system. When calling 1-800 477-4747, enter option 2 in the 2nd menu after selecting residential.

I think I know why the first rep. would not help, but I like my job so I cannot comment.

A flashing meter does not necessarily dictate an inaccurate read. However, if a meter reader overreads a meter, then it does need to be corrected. You can call in a meter reading, or we can have a meter reading specialist come out to take a read between the normal meter reading cycle. Option 3 for this problem.

You can request service to be buried underground, but most neighbors would also have to agree with it and have some economy of scale. There is a charge that our planning department would assess. In rural areas other than Warren, burying the lines is much easier and doesn't require neighbor agreement. Option 5.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 07:18:21 AM by mcalum8 » Logged
Wotan
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2013, 07:29:19 AM »

The problem with PHONE CALLS is they disappear into the void.
Actually typing on an email and taking a screenshot proves communication existed
from the customers end (not relying on the monopoly) and provides leverage.

Tiger may be quick on the growl, but his real teeth have yet to grow in.
Many of us have been dealing with DTE since before he was born.
I love how when the power goes out, the phone message says :
""We are overloaded with calls, please log on and file your complaint online" - wtf
The advertising guru of customer service that thought that up
should be tarred, feathered and paraded around town like they did before electricity existed.

Guess which light got replaced recently..........notice the 2 other streetlights for a comparison.
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/f7UQlm0ldZNX_s3YrlEJvtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

I live several houses off the main road;  and that streetlight is across the street of 5 lanes of traffic.
The poor guy living directly in front of that isn't a happy resident, and neither are my neighbors.
If they actually replaced ALL the streetlights - it would become unbearable for nearby residents.

Streetlights light up the street for night driving with the headlights on.
They should not be considered stadium lighting for doing needlepoint in the backyard at 11:30pm at night.


« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 07:41:02 AM by RedRun » Logged
mcalum8
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2013, 07:38:12 AM »

5,000 calls simultaneously can happen easily during peak storm season and with 700 reps, do the math. I love how you have insulted someone who has tried multiple times to go out of their way to help including lengthy PM's when you have problems.
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RealWorld
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2013, 07:57:39 AM »

Don't sweat it. I for one appreciate the positive feedback and fully understand that not everything which goes on with any firm, can be resolved without a team effort. The main thing here, to me, is that you show a very real concern and passion for the vocation you've chosen and try to do the very best that you can. To me sir, that is all anyone can ask.
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mcalum8
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2013, 08:23:51 AM »

Thank you. I take pride in my work. I have been at the company for over 4+ years, and I handle on average 1,000 calls a month in my time here. That means I have dealt with 50,000 situations. Some of them being easy as taking payments, but so many that are challenging. We have to fill in the lines between what the company tells us, the customers tell us, and what is real. Not easy, but I have gotten to be decent at it.

As I said in my first post in this thread, the company is getting better.

RR, I will forward your complaint about the street light issue to my supervisor and see what standard procedure would be. I don't know if they make shields for those lights. It's honestly one of the few times I have heard about lights being too bright. We service Highland Park street lights, and they certainly have the opposite problem due to theft. Thieves have managed to steal entire poles and hundreds of feet of pld(street light) wire.
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Wotan
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2013, 08:54:35 AM »

I have no bone to pick with you personally Mcalum8,
you're caught in the cogs of the massive corporate machine.
I appreciate the insight you've provided me in the past.

No doubt the call center gets slammed - but when there is no power -
its a little tough to use the internet with a cable modem.
Perhaps a different default message would be more accommodating and appropriate.

The corporation DTE needs to step up "it's" game,
and like any massive cruiser in an ocean, it takes time to turn around.

Perhaps the Line Clearing scheduled in 2014 will address the Red Run County Owned property as well
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/RwJjwog3HBZla-9_Cd49w8YdyO9Xw9T0oo1gFFFa3_c?feat=directlink

People would do well to understand their local circuits and how neighborhoods are inter-connected.
It certainly does not follow most major streets and is definitely not in neat squares or regions.

City of Warren engineers have mentioned "the shielding" is available to direct light downwards
- instead of spilling out 360 degrees into private peoples backyards.

The replaced streetlight is damn bright, overpowering flash from the camera, and other nearby lighting
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/GxkypOf9JXygwT5JNuikb9MTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink



« Last Edit: May 27, 2013, 09:13:07 AM by RedRun » Logged
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