How to Get Compensation for Electricity, Cable and Internet in the Event of a Power Outage
Even if you discreetly turn off your lights when you leave your room or pay for the lowest internet rate, it’s safe to say that these monthly costs are an issue. You spend a lot on your services, and when they fall short of expectations, you may be (literally) in the dark, wondering what you are paying for at all.
While we can’t completely erase your electricity, internet, and cable TV bills, we can at least remind you that hope is not lost. If your service did not meet your reasonable expectations, you can get a loan for the service to save some money on your next bill.
Review your provider’s disconnection policy
Your electricity supplier or other supplier can clearly state their cost recovery policy on their website. If you don’t see it, you may have to call to see if you can get a loan on your next account.
While you are figuring this out, make sure you keep track of how long your service has been down. In some cases, this is the key to obtaining a loan.
Here are some examples of customer compensation programs:
PG&E – you know in California – has a service guarantee program that credits your account to $ 25 for every 24 hours of power outage after the first day. This is separate from the storm inconvenience charges , which range from $ 25 to $ 100 depending on the length of the emergency outage.
DTE Energy in the Detroit area allows you to apply online for a $ 25 loan if you encounter any of the following events: a power outage of more than 120 hours in “catastrophic conditions”; shutdown for more than 16 hours (no disaster required); or eight or more outages in a 12 month period.
The City of Seattle has a complete Cable TV Customer Bill of Rights , which requires the cable TV service provider to provide free service on the day a customer reports a failure for more than an hour, and for each additional day. The Bill of Rights also sets out required credits (typically $ 20) for missed or canceled service appointments or scheduled outages that do not provide the required notice.
If your provider doesn’t have any of these easy-to-understand programs, you can always call during or after the outage and ask if there is any compensation for lost time.
Use the negotiation service
Don’t want to call your electrical / cable / internet company? Me neither. Fortunately, there are several applications for this.
Truebill financial management app offers outage monitoring to its users. The company is very secretive about how it works, but it can obviously tell when your internet or electricity will go out. “He registers with Truebill and initiates a call to the supplier for a lower rate because [the customer] has not received service during that time,” a Truebill spokesman said via email. No minimum downtime required.
Truebill makes money by charging users 40 percent of the amount they can save you by discussing your bills.
If you suffer from repeated failures, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate with your provider. Truebill offers a general invoice reconciliation service just like the similar service Trim . If Trim manages to negotiate savings, it charges you 33 percent of your annual savings.
Use your insurance as a backup
If your refrigerator stops working due to a power outage, you can get compensation for the spoiled food. If you live in an area prone to power outages, check the tenant or homeowner policies before you need them. Some policies cover food loss if only your home is damaged, while others require a larger blackout to pay compensation.
Be aware that you will have a deductible to pay out of pocket before you are reimbursed. Filing a complaint may not be worth the hassle unless you put a month’s cooked food in the freezer.