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Power? What power?

I’m the one who had a power surge, not the power company. I’m sorry to report that Northwestern Energy nee Montana Power is populated with first class smatchets (oh, get a dictionary, why don’t you? Its Scottish for a little, insignificant rogue) who really oughtn’t be allowed to cross the street without assistance. Our lineman, Emilio is a really hard-working slob who takes his job seriously, siding more often with the customers than his company, but his company – not to put too fine a point on it – sucks. His boss sucks. His co-workers suck. They all suck so much they should really merge with Electrolux.

Any of you who have been following this story at all will know that it was back in May that I first requested new service from the power company. When I did so, I did it under the impression that I really had no choice but to get power from them. As it turns out I could have gotten some other comapny to trench in the wires (boy, oh boy do I ever wish I had known that before I cut the check), but there is  always that suspicion that if you use an independant contractor the power company will just make your life hell by requiring all sorts of crap – like if you don’t make a donation to the Policeman’s Ball as the officer is poised with pen above the pad, about to start writing out the ticket – so maybe the best thing is to just use them. So I did. And now I’m sorry.

They have now cashed my $6000 check, so I’m in for a penny, in for a pound, but had I really had my wits about me, I’d probably have spent that money on solar panels, because here it is, August, and not only do I not have power, but now the smatchets are re-configuring everything, chasing their tails, changing their minds about where to bring the line in from whose property has to have an easement, what day of the week it is and all the rest. First they couldn’t figure out where on the map the easement had to be (despite the fact that I gave them addition, block and lot numbers AND section, township, range AND 911 addresses), then they changed their minds about it all, and then they said that no, I didn’t get put “on the list” as soon as they cashed my check, but will only be on the list when I have an electrician put in the meter base, wich, of course, they never mentioned to me in the three months I’ve been waiting.

I’m so annoyed with them, I wrote to Governor Schweitzer about it. I wrote to the public service commision because it seemed to me that these guys have a monopoly on my business, and that’s why they charge so much for a lousy job. What they said is that the PSC doesn’t regulate construction charges; only metered charges. So they do have a monopoly. Its not right, by gum. Either they should regulate the company or let ‘the invisible hand’ of competition guide it,  but NW Energy should get its hotels off Boardwalk, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Send electrons.


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