The Duke Energy Dance

Posted on Saturday, August 27th, 2016 at 11:06 am

The following was posted to Facebook over the last three days. I’m putting it here to archive. I’m not placing blame here on Duke for anything. Well, it might have been nice to be told that the breakers had to be turned off before they would energize the line, but other than that it’s just been par for the course in this process of trying to sell Mom’s house.

I mean, a freaking tree fell on it two weeks before we were supposed to close. What the what?

Post #1

August 25 at 4:45pm · Wilmington

Warning: long, rambling post ahead. I’m not looking for advice – I’m looking to vent.

As a lot of you guys know, we’ve been waiting to close on Mom’s house since a tree fell on it on July 20th. Through getting a few emails cc’d to me between the buyer (who is inspecting repairs), the realtor (who is acting as a communication facilitator) and the contractor I figure out that the power line to the house has actually been down the entire time.

The entire freaking time.

So, I called Duke power in Charlotte last night and they sent someone out and the job was marked complete at 1:21am.

Only it wasn’t. There was a cable attached to the house, but it was on the ground.

Fast forward to today at 3:21pm and the contractor sends me a photo of the line on the ground. So, Call number 3 (or 4) to Duke power today and they tell me it’s fixed, but I tell them that the line is down. New ticket put in. Hang up. Call back from a Charlotte number with a really nice lady telling me that the guy that went out last night said there were tree limbs in the way and that the line couldn’t be strung to the pole until they were trimmed.

This would have been nice to find out without having to send the contractor out there and then call and ask what the heck is going on.

Like, what the what?

At this point, I’m not even phased. You could tell me that a giant meteor came from outer space and vaporized the house on impact and I would probably not even blink. Actually, that would be preferable to this long process of selling this house that has been drawn out by the most random set of circumstances I’ve ever seen in my life.

Frankly, I’m concerned for the health of my realtor’s liver. I get regular texts that say, “I’m drinking tonight.”

I’m looking for the lesson in all this and all I can come up with is, “well, stuff happens”. I seriously have nothing else.


August 25 at 9:38pm · Edited

Update: (please start the music so it plays while you read this)

Duke Power said they were going to call me back this afternoon. They did not. So, I called the 800 number.

No record of anything.
(I’m now laughing maniacally on the phone)

The nice customer service rep puts me on hold to check further. She finds the following:

1) The re-attached the line from the house to the pole after the limbs had been trimmed. (not sure who did this mysterious good tree-trimming deed)

2) They could not put power back to the house because the breakers were on.

So, now I’ve got to get someone to go to the house & turn off the breakers so I can call Duke to turn the power on.

Post #3

August 27 at 9:53am · Wilmington

Update #2 on the Power Line Shenanigans (subtitled, The seemingly never-ending quest to sell Mom’s house)

Recap: Duke is waiting for us to turn off the breakers and call them so they can re-attempt restoring power to the house.

The contractor turned off the breakers yesterday morning and texted me a picture of all the breakers off. This was at 10:55AM. I immediately called Duke & told them the power was off and requested that I be notified when the power was on.

The call ended at 11:01am. (this will be important later)

After the call, I figure I need to ask the contractor if the line is up, because, in the past I’ve assumed it was and it wasn’t. He said it was indeed up. I had not been able to arrange for anyone to trim the tree limbs that Duke said was in the way, so I asked him…

Me: “Did you trim the tree limbs?”

Contractor: “Yes.”

Me: “I love you.”

Me: “I mean in a manly way.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Contractor: “Aaaawwww, pumpkin. ;P”

So, the day goes by and I don’t get a call… no text, no smoke signal, no nuthin’ from Duke. So around 4:00pm, I give them a call.

Duke Customer Service: “Yes, it shows that at 11:00am this morning, they could not restore power because there was a load on the line.”

Me: “Um, what? Did you say at 11:00am this morning?”

Duke Customer Service: “Yes, sir.”

Me: “Ma’am, the contractor was there turning off the breakers at 10:55am and I was on the phone letting you guys know that they were off until just after 11. Unless that guy was waiting at the end of the driveway or he can time travel, I think it’s pretty much impossible that he did all that this morning and put that in at 11am.”

Duke Customer Service (getting defensive): “It says right here that he put that in at 11am…”

Me: “Look, I’m not questioning that you’re seeing that in the system. I know all that you can tell me is what you see there, but seeing as how I hadn’t completed the call for someone to come out until after 11am, don’t you think that’s kind of odd? Is it *possible* that he put that in this morning referring to what was done last night?”

Duke Customer Service: “Yes, it does… let me check something… it looks like no one has been out there today.”

Me: “Ok, that makes more sense. I think that technician is messing with you and you need to find him and beat him with a stick.”

Duke Customer Service: “I think you’re right.”

So, I get off the phone, have an adult beverage or two and get on with my life until morning.

This morning I called Duke Power fully expecting Allen Funt to answer the phone and tell me that a meteor has struck the line to the house and repair crews could not attach the line because there was a gaping crater on that side of the house. Furthermore, aliens were emerging from the crater to take over the greater Char-Meck area and maybe this might be a good time to book a flight to Europe to get away from the pending invasion because they’ll surely be heading my way next.

However, they told me that the ticket was closed and power was restored.

I hope they understand that I’ll be skeptical until I get independent, 3rd party verification, but I’m doing a very cautious happy dance for right now.