Saturday, December 31, 2005

Residents Complain About Electric Outages

Consumer Help With Abnormal FPL Electric Interruptions

LABELLE, FL. -- In an ongoing fight with Florida Power and Light, Hendry
county residents are still complaining about the abnormal amount of times
their electric goes out weekly. FPL tells residents who call about their
electric going out momentarily that everything from electric storms to
squirrels are causing the outages. In Hendry county residents can expect
that their electric will go out between eight and twenty times a month, with
possible damage to electronic equipment like DVRs and computer disk drives.
The latest pattern for the months of October, November and December found
the power going out mainly between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. In October power went
out 20 times, in November 8 times, while December's power outages numbered
12 times.

The only way to get FPL to remedy the problem of continual power outages is
to call 1-800-468-8243, making sure you talk to a live operator and tell
them about the "abnormal" amount of times your electric goes out. And have
your neighbors, who all will be having the same problem call FPL as well. Be
aware FPL has a long list of responses to your complaint including birds on
lines, squirrels in the equipment, lightning, and even blaming your own
electrical wiring in your house. If your neighbors register their
complaints with FPL as well, it will be hard for FPL to blame your house
wiring for the problems. They will sometimes send a FPL lineman to check
your meter box and search hard for the slightest reason to tell you it's
your wiring causing the problem, and instruct you to call an electrician.
That's why the entire neighborhood must call and complain to FPL so FPL will
not use this ruse.

Some homeowers have complained that air conditioning units and digital video
recorders (Tivo, etc.) have been damaged due to the number of times the
electric goes out, damaging a.c. compressers and making DVR disk drives
crash rendering them useless. While computer disk drives are also at risk
when the electric goes off and on, the drives must be in operation either
reading or writing data when the power goes out to cause damage. Because DVR
machines are always on, the disk drives are more at risk when the power goes
out suddenly. The main problems most residents are noticing is the flashing
microwave clock that indicates the electric went out, and having to reset
computers and clocks. Cordless phone users also lose connections when the
power goes out.

Also see Dealing with FPL for additional information
on how to get action from FPL and the Public Service Commission.

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