For those not familiar with my younger brother and his wife, I will add that they have an autistic 11 year old and a 17 month old toddler. During our terrible storm last night, they lost power. This is bad enough for anyone, but becomes especially complicated when dealing with an autistic child and a toddler.
In the morning, my brother went out to shovel and survey the damage. During the storm, a tree had fallen smack up against the corner of his house, glanced off, and knocked down the power line.
As this was a downed, live power line, my brother immediately called PEPCO, our local power company. We dug out his car and he loaded up the family to get someplace warm and away from a downed live power line.
Sometime later my brother came back to discover this note from the PEPCO crew that had come to deal with the line:
"You Will Need To Have Facial Board Re-Attached or Replaced. Also, Will Need To Have An Electrician Re-Attach Line Side SEC and Weather Head Back to House. Customer Responsible for DAMAGE!"
It's not enough, of course, to blame my brother for the fact that a tree fell over in a snowstorm and hold him responsible for how the house recklessly deflected the tree onto the power line. It's the use of all caps and the exclamation point -- to emphasize to my brother just what a shmuck PEPCO considers him for recklessly having his house hit by a tree, that makes PEPCO customer service so special. Because when you are looking at your tree smashed house, wondering how you are going to manage with an autistic kid and toddler, there's nothing like an obnoxious note from your power company telling you that you will have to fix it yourself because the snowstorm and the tree are clearly YOUR FAULT to lift your spirits.
In any event, I am now turning to the power of my social network to please help me shame PEPCO into doing the right thing. Tell PEPCO that when a tree smashes your house in a snowstorm, the customer is NOT "Responsible for DAMAGE!"
(I have a PDF of the note they left, but cannot post it here on LJ. Any help getting it up where I can link to it is appreciated.)