Someone's head needs to roll for this

A 93 year old WWII veteran froze to death in his Michigan home after the utility company restricted his electricity use prior to completely shutting off his electricity due to an unpaid bill. Why ANY utility company, and especially the electric company, would shut off someone’s power in the middle of a freezing cold winter just boggles my mind. Couldn’t they wait a couple of months and do it when the weather is warmer? Reading this story just breaks my heart. Here’s a link: Click Here

UTR
Stories like this turn my stomach. I wonder if brother
AL GORE will say it was because of global warming. The
answer is simple. It’s plain greed on the part of the electric
company. The old man was probably on a fixed income
and couldn’t pay on the exact date. Also the fact that the
man had been in the military in WWII makes it worse.
ZAP.:(:frowning:

They found him with a wad of cash that they believe he was going to use to pay the bill. Any policy of shutting off vital utilities in the middle of winter is a poor one , IMO. Especially, for the elderly. It wouldn’t be difficult for a utility company to track customers by their age and act responsibly. Maybe even send someone by to discuss the problem they may be having in paying their bill.

They “Believe” he was going to pay the bill with the wad of cash because it was the correct ammount to pay the bill WHICH WAS PAPER CLIPPED to the “wad of cash”

Utility workers are SUPPOSED to ring the door bell and attempt to
contact the occupant before doing a shuttoff, but some workers avoiding “unpleasant” conversations sneak in turn the power off and leave… quickly.

My CATV/ISP provider keeps screwing up my billing (which is paid automatically) and they have never ONCE rang my doobell
to ask about having the bill paid before cutting off my service
IN ERROR.

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The UK government passed legislation on this very point some years ago after similar scandals.
The Utilities are made to contact social services and other bodies informing them of what they want to do. If they just cut off the power/heat without making enquiries they are liable to court action.

[QUOTE=weedougie;2212221]The UK government passed legislation on this very point some years ago after similar scandals.
The Utilities are made to contact social services and other bodies informing them of what they want to do. If they just cut off the power/heat without making enquiries they are liable to court action.[/QUOTE]

This sounds like a good policy. Having electricity or gas in the middle of winter isn’t like getting cable TV etc. It can be a matter of life and death.

Whenever you hear about or read an article such as this, you can only think what kind of cold-hearted bastard would do something like this.

Well, wonder no more.
Bay City Electric Light and Power is municipally owned and operated
That’s right. It’s our fair-minded and compassionate nanny state at it again protecting us from those evil, for-profit, free-enterprise, horrible companies.

I’m not certain of the law in Maine, but electric power is delivered and serviced by Central Maine Power (CMP)…privately owned and operated, founded in 1905 and still Not government owned or operated

CMP would absolutely Not have done anything like this. I dare say most private companies would not have done this, and it they had, certainly would have found themselves under the bootheel of our ever-so-vigilant nanny state if they had committed what amounts to manslaughter…perhaps more than manslaughter with the right DA at the helm.

I know CMP holds contingency funds for low-income folks or folks in need.
It’s interesting to note that Bay City Electric Light and Power is supposed to install “limiters” which restrict usage, but provide essental service in order to keep a furnace going.
Gee, I guess it didn’t operate correctly and no one had time to check on this poor old guy.
We all know the government does have to operate within its budget…:rolleyes:
Oh, did I mention they just raised the rates subsequent to this poor old vet’s death and right in the dead of winter?

Nice work.

If anyone’s interested, here’s more details:

I hope the ones who jumped on the bandwagon against the power company take a look at the following. This man had 600.000 dollars so he could have paid his bill. If anyone is to blame besides him it is his family for not seeing that he paid his bill . I for one think the power company has a little blame but most must fall on the people who allowed a 93 year old to pay his on bills. I for one hope someone takes my checkbook and pays my bills when I get to 93.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/04/freezing.death.folo/index.html

A 93-year-old World War II medic who froze to death last month in his Bay City, Michigan, home left his entire estate to a local hospital, an estate attorney told CNN Wednesday. The attorney would not disclose the exact amount left behind by Martin Schur. But his nephew said his uncle indicated to family members two years ago that he had saved up more than a half-million dollars over the years. Schur and his wife, Marian, who died more than a year ago, did not have any children.

“I just know at one time he said he had over $600,000 in savings,” said William Walworth. “That’s what he told me and my brother, and he was proud that he was able to save and build his estate up to that.”

[QUOTE=samlar;2212832]I hope the ones who jumped on the bandwagon against the power company take a look at the following. This man had 600.000 dollars so he could have paid his bill. If anyone is to blame besides him it is his family for not seeing that he paid his bill . I for one think the power company has a little blame but most must fall on the people who allowed a 93 year old to pay his on bills. I for one hope someone takes my checkbook and pays my bills when I get to 93.[/QUOTE]

You are missing the point. A power company shouldn’t turn ANYONE’S power off in the middle of a freezing cold winter. This guy had no children and blaming his family is wrong, IMO. The guy was 93 years old and the power company should at the very least be looking at the age of people they are going to disconnect. IMO, 95% of the blame for this gentleman’s death rests on the power company. What if they have customers that are mentally disabled and they forgot to pay a bill or their automatic payments were messed up? They should turn off their power too and let them freeze to death? Like I said, someone’s head needs to roll for this.

[QUOTE=UTR;2212930]You are missing the point. A power company shouldn’t turn ANYONE’S power off in the middle of a freezing cold winter. This guy had no children and blaming his family is wrong, IMO. The guy was 93 years old and the power company should at the very least be looking at the age of people they are going to disconnect. IMO, 95% of the blame for this gentleman’s death rests on the power company. What if they have customers that are mentally disabled and they forgot to pay a bill or their automatic payments were messed up? They should turn off their power too and let them freeze to death? Like I said, someone’s head needs to roll for this.[/QUOTE]

I don’t think age is necessarily the bigger issue here. IMO, the electric company should take into consideration that it is freezing cold in that area, and at least give them power to stay alive. They also really need to go out and speak to them in person before they shut off their power regardless of age.
Its pretty sad what things have come to.

Hw did have relatives who could have look after him along with others. I do agree the power company should have not cut the power which they did not they only limited the power and it had a reset which he could have reset it. I think age is big issue here we seem to forget about those over a certain age and the fact that someone should look after them. My mother it taking my three bothers to watch over her because she is at that age. She will not live with one of us but if they allowed her to take care of her bills she would be without power and any money. I do not live close to her but I would not blame the power company if her electric bill did not get paid I would blame my bothers that live close to her. That said I agree the power company should not cut off power and I think they have learned that limiters do not work it these cases. This post started by saying the cut off his power completely which is not so. The limiter needed to be reset and he did not do this.

All I am saying is that there was more to the story than what was first reported and more than one person was to blame.

The story begins and ends with the power company turning off the electricity to a 93 year old man at a time when the weather was deadly cold. It would only take a few hours to freeze an elderly person to death in this scenario so maybe the family wasn’t negligent and thought everything was going well. Maybe they had no previous reason to worry about him paying his bills. Maybe this was the first time he was this delinquent. The “what if” game you are playing cuts both ways. That is why it falls on the power company to show some responsibility for not endangering their customers. Like I said, heads need to roll over this. Somebody died because someone else didn’t give a $hit about who got their power cut off in sub freezing weather.

BTW, if the limiter failed, or tripped, then they “cut off” his power. The guy is 93 years old so I don’t expect him to know about such things. For that matter maybe he was never told it was installed.