Computer glitch corrected after woman...

Computer glitch corrected after woman's death

There are 38 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Feb 23, 2008, titled Computer glitch corrected after woman's death. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

A power company says it has corrected a glitch in an automated system found following the death of a 90-year-old Kalamazoo-are woman who spent four days inside her frigid home after power was cut off.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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Spec US Army

Grand Rapids, MI

#21 Feb 23, 2008
I cant stand Consumers Energy. I have had auto payment (Were they automatically withdraw it from my bank account or so i understand my wife takes care of the bills as i get handed cash and umm i tend to misplace it as bass pro shops and the like) anyways i have had auto payment for almost 3 years and about a month ago i get home from work and my power is shut off with a note on the door saying i owed money. Instantly i call my wife and say umm babe whats up with the power? She is in a total loss turns out the dumb fools were supposed to shut off the neighbors power not mine and messed up. Then they told me it would be up to 48 hours before they could turn it back on!!!!(And they wanted me to pay a service fee for a weekend call.)(it was a Friday night) Anyways i made a call to my attorney and then he made a call and i tell you what they were out in almost 20mins!!! they don't care about the average person all they care about is money! I now pay with a check every month just to make them do a little extra work! anyways i send out my thoughts and prayers to the family and i hope justice is served!
A concerned person

Granbury, TX

#22 Feb 24, 2008
I dont know anyone who can stand consumers energy including myself.They do not care about anything or anyone except for there rate increases when ever they want them.If it was up to me I would do away with there services but how can you do that when they have a monopoly and you dont have a choice.ohhh another thing i really think is funny is when you call to report a power outage and they tell you that you can also report it on there website,but how can you report it on there website when you dont have power to turn your computer on in the 1st place.
goober

Syracuse, NY

#23 Feb 24, 2008
Pure negligence. But what does anyone expect from Consumers energy or our govt. regulatory agencies?
Who Knew

Grand Rapids, MI

#24 Feb 24, 2008
I am no fan of Consumers Energy either!! And I think their story is a crock.

I don't agree that the family deserves anything for this. If they had been watching over the women in the first place then they wouldn't have died. I am not sure what the whole story is about unpaid bills and why they didn't or weren't able to get help for themselves but if any family or friend were paying attention it wouldn't have taken several days for them to die a terrible death and then have to be 'found'. Any person who steps up for a windfall on this one should instead be embarassed that they let it happen in the first place.
sparky

Greenville, MI

#25 Feb 24, 2008
Ah yes, the old computer glitch excuse again.
common sense

Allegan, MI

#26 Feb 24, 2008
Who Knew wrote:
I don't agree that the family deserves anything for this. If they had been watching over the women in the first place then they wouldn't have died. I am not sure what the whole story is about unpaid bills and why they didn't or weren't able to get help for themselves but if any family or friend were paying attention it wouldn't have taken several days for them to die a terrible death and then have to be 'found'. Any person who steps up for a windfall on this one should instead be embarassed that they let it happen in the first place.
I agree with you. While this is a tragedy, it really could have and should have been prevented if there had been others checking in on a regular basis.

Since: Jul 07

Key West

#27 Feb 24, 2008
sparky wrote:
Ah yes, the old computer glitch excuse again.
The "Man" that turned off the heat,must feel real good about now.He could see the house had people inside and they would freeze to death, but this great guy did his job O" so well .

He should be tried for impersonating a human being!
Seenitbefore

Three Rivers, MI

#28 Feb 24, 2008
Joe wrote:
What is wrong with the 63 year old daughter and / or social worker? I'm a little younger and watching out for my home-bound mother. I would start making phone calls with in minutes! I know many older widows around me, that have someone checking on them daily.
I agree with your sentiment Joe. The thing is that doesn't relieve moral responsibility for shutting off what utilities may cause death to persons in the building. Shut off the power when it's not as likely that a person can die from the loss. As in this case freezing to death. In warm weather they're not likely to freeze to death.

Then again we all know the only "morality" business knows is making profit.
pam

United States

#29 Feb 24, 2008
hope they get sued!

“Reporting to you live from... ”

Since: Feb 08

Ionia

#30 Feb 24, 2008
This is truly sad... and to think- we pay these utility companies to provide us with a service (or services) and we pay outrageous amounts of money tot hem, in hopes that they will actually protect us from harm when we need it most. This is how these mega-companies repay their customers... tsk tsk..
Rick

Pinckney, MI

#31 Feb 24, 2008
The State of Michigan needs to enact a law that does not let the basic utilites be shut off (gas/power/water)from mid October to mid april. Because these company only care about the money as this company proved. Then to claim a computer glitch come on we are not that stupid. Lets lie to the public some more.
Kim

Ann Arbor, MI

#32 Feb 25, 2008
I am very confused why her family wasn't checking on her and why the daughter didn't seek help for her mother or why other family members didn't.Based on a TV interview the nephew, I believe, did he know she didn't have a phone shouldn't he be checking on her? I understand what the power company did was wrong but I don't understand how the family can consider themselves blameless.

“Aut viam inveniam aut faciam ”

Since: Feb 08

Muskegon

#33 Feb 25, 2008
Kim,

I could be wrong, but as I understood it, both women were in poor health, both mentally and physically.

I agree with others here that if the family had been doing a better job of checking on them, this tragedy could have been avoided. Shame on them!

However, that does not let the power company off the hook, either. Obviously, it is a greedy, unthinking and cold automaton, incapable of caring about real people.

As I feel both are to blame, a pox on BOTH their houses!

It is a crying shame and a testament to our morally and ethically bankrupt society that two elderly and infirm women had to die cold and alone because of one corporation's greed and ineptitude and a family's total apathy.

Lesson for us all: take care of your families, especially the most weakest and most vulnerable.

BTW, I do not think the family should be getting rich, either, but the company should pay them something for their grief.

After all, they just admitted it was their fault, computer glitch or no.
van

Whitmore Lake, MI

#34 Feb 25, 2008
Why didn't the woman's family keep better watch on her. Even if she was independent at 92 she shouldn't of had to bear the responsibilty of an special needs daughter without help. What is the matter with her family. It may have been a computer glich, but the family of the woman is also to blame.
rval-GrandRapids MI

Grand Rapids, MI

#35 Feb 25, 2008
responsibility wrote:
<quoted text>
This family had the means to pay their bills, but for some reason did not. I don't think their relatives deserve a dime from this company! Where were they when this woman needed them? If their family were so concerned about their well being than they should have taken action long before the power company turns the power off.
Couldn't agree with you more; not to mention, her family has commented that they knew her memory was slipping, so even though she had the money in her purse, maybe the power company did come to the door and she forgot, or didn't understand...as well as, the daughter that lived with her has mental difficulty; her family knew that her phone had been shut off for a couple of months and THAT didn't raise one red flag with her family members to maybe call up other utility companies and explain the situation to ensure this type of thing didn't happen???? come on people; stop using your own stupidity for gain
Susan from Jenison

Grand Rapids, MI

#36 Feb 25, 2008
I agree that Consumer's Energy is trying to cover their behinds on this one by blaming a computer. After all, there's plenty of blame to go around...

Let's start with the family members who knew of the physical and mental limitations of these two women. They should have stepped up long ago to insure that their needs were taken care of, either in that house or elsewhere. And how long had it been since their last visit (since phone contact was not available to check in with them)?

Next let's look at the employee who was sent to turn off the power. It sounds like he/she blatantly disregarded company policy (to knock on the door first).

But let's not forget the neighbors who went for how many days without seeing lights on in the home? Two homebound women surely would have lights turned on every morning and every evening. Yet no one was suspicious when days go by with total darkness?

I agree that this is a horrible tragedy. However, no one deserves a penny as a result. You have to be seriously behind on your power bill to have it turned off. This was not a situation where "Oops! I missed my payment last week for the first time ever." That means that the family did not care enough for them in life for them to deserve to profit from them in death.

And, for all who think Consumer's should pay, don't forget, they'll just go back to the commission and ask to raise their rates - so ultimately we will end up paying that money to the family.

No thanks!

“Think for yourself!”

Since: Feb 08

Janesville, WI

#37 Feb 26, 2008
No one deserves to have their power cut off in the middle of winter.

Different color tags for seniors would be a welcome addition to criminals looking to target them!
WRONG

Hendersonville, TN

#38 Feb 29, 2008
Spec US Army wrote:
I cant stand Consumers Energy. I have had auto payment (Were they automatically withdraw it from my bank account or so i understand my wife takes care of the bills as i get handed cash and umm i tend to misplace it as bass pro shops and the like) anyways i have had auto payment for almost 3 years and about a month ago i get home from work and my power is shut off with a note on the door saying i owed money. Instantly i call my wife and say umm babe whats up with the power? She is in a total loss turns out the dumb fools were supposed to shut off the neighbors power not mine and messed up. Then they told me it would be up to 48 hours before they could turn it back on!!!!(And they wanted me to pay a service fee for a weekend call.)(it was a Friday night) Anyways i made a call to my attorney and then he made a call and i tell you what they were out in almost 20mins!!! they don't care about the average person all they care about is money! I now pay with a check every month just to make them do a little extra work! anyways i send out my thoughts and prayers to the family and i hope justice is served!
First of all, sorry for the inconvenience....Second of all, there is NEVER a service charge to restore services for nonpayment. For service restoration that is you fault or in the rare occasion the fault of Consumers Energy, the service fee will ALWAYS be waived if it is a company error. And, for your information the restoration is within 24 hours, not 48.
Gotta love how the stories get juiced up in the media and in the forums!

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