Resident: Unitil doing the best it ca...

Resident: Unitil doing the best it can after the storm - Sentin...

There are 34 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Dec 17, 2008, titled Resident: Unitil doing the best it can after the storm - Sentin.... In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

I would first like to say up front that I am a former employee of Unitil/FGE, leaving in 2005 for reasons of career expansion.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

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Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#1 Dec 17, 2008
Mr. Whittier,
Unitil has a record of poor maintenance and upkeep on the lines that provide power to us in an obvious effort in creating profit. This has led to a much larger degree of damage to the infrustructure than should have been during this storm. I will agree that the people on the "firing lines" are doing everything they can now, but the continued lack of responsible maintenance can in NO WAY BE EXCUSED...Unitil has done a very poor job in responding to this storm by virtue of not excercising due diligence in its normal duties in managing its infrustructure, as well as overlooking the reports coming at us from states experiencing the storms damage on its way here. They did NOTHING to prepare for this storm in advance of the damage, and their can be NO EXCUSES for that!
response

Waltham, MA

#2 Dec 17, 2008
I also live in West Townsend and I do not think Unitil did a good job with regards to the storm. Not having trucks out repairing damage until two days after the storm is just not good enough.
I was on the phone with many customer service reps during the outage, and not one of them could tell me how many trucks were dispatched to Townsend. Not one of them could tell me how many crews were working. Beyond that, they were rude.
We have extremely high rates with Unitil, I expect people to be at least nice to me on the phone.
Frustrated

Austin, TX

#3 Dec 17, 2008
Mr. Whitier I hope you have enjoyed your heat since Sunday. I have three small children and as of Wed at 3:33 still no power. It is what it is... and what it is IS Unitil lack of response and communication is completley unacceptable. They are not launching an investigation because they have no reason too. Something needs to change. I do agree with you on one thing though. I would never yell at the reps on the phone. Those poor people have it the worst.
Lisa C

Windham, NH

#4 Dec 17, 2008
As a "city dweller" of Fitchburg, I too, believe that Unitil has not stepped up in response to this ice storm. I'd love to "look at the sky and yell at it" but I'm too busy looking out my front window waiting to yell at the next hoodlum who tries to steal my generator.
This is not Townsend,Maine or Canada.... this is Fitchburg. We are a small city that has to worry about more than just our pipes freezing. Where I live you cannot rely on your kind neighbors to watch out for you and keep an eye on your house. I have to keep and eye on my neighbors to make sure they are not breaking into my house. Not only are we worried about all the complications that go with the power loss, but we have to worry about our safety too. It's not just Unitil that has left me feeling helpless and overwhelmed, but the city of fitchburg too. I hope that we never have to experience a storm like this again, and if we do I hope both Fitchburg and Unitil can be a little more prepared and helpful.
With this being said, I am thankful that my family is still safe because things could have been worse. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered losses worse than I have.
type slower

Nonantum, MA

#5 Dec 17, 2008
Frustrated wrote:
and as of Wed at 3:33 still no power.
If you are the same person from another post I think you have other problems with your power than the rest of us. Wednesday it was like 70 degrees and not raining/snowing/sleeting.
JustSaying

Worcester, MA

#6 Dec 17, 2008
Frustrated wrote:
Mr. Whitier I hope you have enjoyed your heat since Sunday. I have three small children and as of Wed at 3:33 still no power. It is what it is... and what it is IS Unitil lack of response and communication is completley unacceptable. They are not launching an investigation because they have no reason too. Something needs to change. I do agree with you on one thing though. I would never yell at the reps on the phone. Those poor people have it the worst.
The response time has been poor, but the lack of helpful information is even more startling. And its not just Unitil. Lunenburg sent an automated phone message about the state of emergency, shelter location, etc, YESTERDAY! 5 days after the event!
Maurice Ronaldo - Mo Ron

Rockville, MD

#7 Dec 17, 2008
type slower wrote:
<quoted text>
If you are the same person from another post I think you have other problems with your power than the rest of us. Wednesday it was like 70 degrees and not raining/snowing/sleeting.
THINK SLOWER!
Today is Wednesday and it has been snowing and it is 29 degrees F.
Michael

North Andover, MA

#8 Dec 17, 2008
Tom Whittier,

You are wrong, Unitil who charges some of the highest rates in the area should be ashamed of themselves and do something for the effected customers. Seriously the are all about profit and do nothing to improve the infrastructure which could have prevented this almost week long outage. I say kick them out of town, bye bye Unitil.

-mra
Mark in Lunenburg

United States

#9 Dec 17, 2008
It's great that Mr. Whittier got his power back Sunday. What upsets me and others in Lunenburg is that no Unitil trucks were seen in our town for several days after the storm. Three days were lost while they took care of others and now we're getting snow storms. Unitil chose to leave us in the dark and put the majority of their resources in other areas.

Since: Jun 08

Location hidden

#10 Dec 17, 2008
and to top it all off, a neighbor of mine had a customer service representative tell her that our section of Reingold will not see power till Monday or Tuesday...the explanation is that we are not a priority because we have only 20 or 30 houses remaining on the circuit that must be repaired...

I checked the website for the department of utilities, and there was some interesting information detailing the fact that Unitil cannot shutoff my power until March because it is Winter, so I guess they dropped to the lowest place on my bill priority list and won't get paid until March.

Maybe if we all withold our money, they might think differently about priorities.

“I'm a Fitchburger and Proud ”

Since: Jan 08

Fitchburg ( of course)

#11 Dec 17, 2008
type slower wrote:
<quoted text>
If you are the same person from another post I think you have other problems with your power than the rest of us. Wednesday it was like 70 degrees and not raining/snowing/sleeting.
Type slower you are an anal sphincter.
Townsend resident also

United States

#12 Dec 18, 2008
Mr.Whittier is a lucky guy to have power,, I do not as of Thursday. Unitil has a track record of being unprepared and unresponsive to power outages.They need to call National Grid and ask if they can come help out.They have their shit together, maybe Unitil can ask National Grig how it's done!Lets ask Rep.DiNatale to get rid of Unitil,,he thinks they suck too!
Lobout

Belmont, MA

#15 Dec 18, 2008
My Complaint isn't with the workers, they are doing a hell of a job considering what they have to work with. My issue is with Unitil as a whole at this point. I have both Electric and Gas with them, and pay a small fortune every month for the server, but I have yet to see a truck in our neighborhood, and probably won't until sometime next week. This is not acceptable. I can't heat my home because my furnace(which unitil converted to gas) won't run without electric, and since there are down lines and transformers still, I will still be left out in the cold in a major storm. I am going to take my payment that is due to them and go buy a generator and pay for an electrician to wire my heat. I think the Unitil should have to refund the amount of money that I have to put out to provide a service that they are supposed to be doing.
Townsend

Rowley, MA

#16 Dec 18, 2008
Dear Mr Whittier

Glad you have power, how would you like to be without it for 7 days and no further because your are not a prioprioty. They came through our neighborhood and cut trees and restored power all in one session, we called them about a down line immediately and was informed it was not a problem. They cut the tree left the wires and took off, so 6 houses have no power, we look to the right and to the left looking at homes with xmas lights and trees while we freeze. The neighborhood immediately had the wire put up and we called back to be told we are at the bottom of the list and it will probably be Sunday if we are lucky, they were nasty, merry xmas to you...
J_in_ Ward_1

Lowell, MA

#17 Dec 18, 2008
Mr. Whittier, it sounds like you don't believe there is any such thing as a bad response to a storm.

Are you really Whittier, or is your name George Bush? You know, the guy who said, "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie" after Katrina.
DJ in da burg

Ayer, MA

#18 Dec 18, 2008
Mr. Whittier,

I have no doubt that the linesmen from Unitil, Ohio, Penns, and Tenn. are really working hard to restore the power to areas throughout the community. I applaud the efforts of all the men and women out ther day and night doing there best for everyone.

The better question is, Who is supervising where and what areas are to be serviced?

Unitil stated that they would "start to work on restoring power to the more populated areas first."

Funny how you have power in Townsend, and most of Cleghorn, and West Fitchburg (roughly a quarter or more of the population of Fitchburg is in the dark!
shfkjhfk

Belmont, NH

#19 Dec 19, 2008
I love Unitil!
gabs56

Natick, MA

#20 Dec 19, 2008
DJ, maybe Mr. Whittier has "special connections" being a former Unitil employee. I'm from Townsend and got my electricity back last night, 6 days later, not day 2.
DJ in da burg wrote:
Mr. Whittier,
I have no doubt that the linesmen from Unitil, Ohio, Penns, and Tenn. are really working hard to restore the power to areas throughout the community. I applaud the efforts of all the men and women out ther day and night doing there best for everyone.
The better question is, Who is supervising where and what areas are to be serviced?
Unitil stated that they would "start to work on restoring power to the more populated areas first."
Funny how you have power in Townsend, and most of Cleghorn, and West Fitchburg (roughly a quarter or more of the population of Fitchburg is in the dark!
REPORT THIS

United States

#21 Dec 19, 2008
Does anybody realize that UNITIL went to the Townsend sub-station on Thursday night of the storm and PURPOUSLY shut off the power to the WHOLE Town?
It was not until Sunday when they went back and turned on ONLY Main st. They deliberately shut off all our businesses on Main St. It was NOT because of the Storm that all the Businesses were closed on Friday and Saturday. All the lines were up on Main st. All they did was come back on Sunday and switch the substation back on. ALL that business lost at the hands of UNITIL. You will never see them admit to that. They do what they want, when they want. Did NGRID do that in Pepperell?? I think NOT.
I Doubt it

United States

#22 Dec 19, 2008
Dear Mr. Whittier,
UNITIL is not doing the best they can! They need more crews in the field. However, the only people that will come in and help UNITIL is Henkels and McCoy, Referred to in the Industry as "Crinkle and Destroy" All other contractors REFUSE to work for UNITIL because they won't pay the going rate. Henkels and McCoy do the same quality work as UNITIL. Which is well below industry standards.

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