Thursday, August 22, 2013
Meanwhile I have another bounty to celebrate. Fourth of July weekend up here was our one and only heat spell. It reached 107 on my deck. When my air conditioner failed the first day of the heat swell I called the original installer as the unit is only two years old. He came shortly and declared the problem the PGE Smart Meter. A circus followed, with many visits from both PGE and the A/C company pointing fingers at each other. I had to evacuate to a friend's house. Four days and $309 later all was fixed. But that is not the end of the story. About a week later a friend noticed an article on a back page of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Air Conditioner Failure Due to PGE SMART METER. It explained that over 100 homes had lost their A/C because the smart meter, programmed to turn on and off every 15 minutes, turned off and never turned back on. One was instructed to call a certain number and request a refund for expenses paid for repairs.
Of course, the clerk answering the PGE phone line indicated she knew nothing about it. Shuffled from desk to desk I was about to give up when I finally reached someone who agreed to send me an application for a refund. Ten days went by; no application received.
I called PGE again. They sent a second refund application. (8 days later two applications came, one each on successive days.)
I promptly mailed a copy of my A/C repair bill, a copy of the newspaper article, and a letter of explanation (omitting curse words). The photo below is blurry, but believe me it shows a check for the full amount $309. This will pay for my B&B for two nights coming up next month in White Rock, Canada----and maybe even some fish and chips.
But the best part is winning over a buerocracy! I'm indebted to Catherine Dodd for teaching me how to persevere in fighting the system. Sometimes it works! Thank you, Catherine.