Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pushing the Vampires into the Sun

The following is a series of email exchanges from Robyn Flanery, the ONLY woman who was interviewed by Times Picayune reporter, Pamela Radtke Russell, about the criminal Entergy bills being forced on our community. I interviewed Robyn in person and I can tell you that Russell's story did not begin to capture the desperation of Robyn's situation...nor did Russell interview anyone besides Robyn about this nightmare. I don't know if it was Pamela's reporting or an editor's decision, but I believe the TP is sugarcoating this situation as damage control for Entergy. Pam...you want to win a Pulitzer? Take the gloves off and take these bastards on....this story is Enron V.2.

I want to post these emails to show you just how ridiculous the situation is:

Dear Mr. Dupuis,

After MANY emails to Ms. Midura, and Entergy AND being quoted in the TP for my entergy gas issues -- I still am being charged in excess of 200.00 per month for gas(at a vacant house) and just received a bill in excess of 3,900.00 from entergy for ELECTRIC (at same vacant house). Entergy states that they have been "estimating" my bill for the past 10 months and have just read the meter. The real use is over $3,900.00 --they want payment immediately or will turn off my electric and gas and will report me to the credit bureaus. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. I cannot believe this! I have spoken SEVERAL times with Entergy and they said they sent out an "investigator" to the property to review this, then they told me I WAS RESPONSIBLE and THEY WERE CORRECT! They immediately ordered me to pay over $1,000.00 yesterday to avoid disconnect, then today ENTERGY has
since been SO KIND as to divide the remaining "overrage" payment into 10 payments of 258.00 per month in addition to my regular bill! WHAT????? Am I just at their mercy? How can THEY say I have used this much? As an executive at ENTERGY, I expect that you will be very upset by this misuse of good customers by your staff. Not only that, they were downright RUDE to me on the phone. (I have names and dates)

ALSO: nobody lives there. Nobody has since February 22, 2007. Can you help me explain this latest RAPE? Why would anybody stay in New Orleans?

Why haven't I had these issues at my new residence? WHY: Entergy and the city of new orleans want to remove EVERYONE from my old neighborhood since they consider it a "bad neighborhood" I am sick of this discrimination! SICK SICK SICK.

Somebody had better do something. Ms. Midura needs to do something NOW. ENTERGY needs to do something NOW.

No excuses!
Regards,
Robyn Flanery

Dear Mr. Sterling,
I have tried NUMEROUS times to contact Entergy about this bill. Each
time I call, I get the same thing -- YOU OWE.
NO I DO NOT.
I also cannot take a day off work to go down to their center to dispute
this bill. Just two days ago, I received a notification saying that
they could not read my meter since there is a fence with an animal in
the yard. NO KIDDING! Which is why I know the bill could NOT have
risen from 80.00 to 700.00 overnight.
Entergy just dug up my street and installed a new meter. There is no
way I am going to be responsible for the re-construction of
infrastructure due to damage from the man made flood. Did you know my
house did not even lose a shingle from hurricane damage? YES I feel
like I should move away. This is disgusting and somebody should help
people like me who are so frustrated. Daily life is such a chore in New
Orleans. Unless you are among the super rich, life here is nearly
unbearable. Did I mention I have NO WATER METER either, and my bill is
consistently over $1000.00 each month?

Regards,
Robyn Flanery

Dear Mike,
Last night I received notification in writing that Entergy had investigated this problem. Of course, they say I am responsible. GET THIS: The last meter reading was 2/27/07 and it was 430, then the "current" reading was 31000 !!! Then: the newest "investigated" reading was 32450 !!!

Regards,
Robyn Flanery


This is hardly an isolated case...it's happening all around the city.

430 ccm is outrageous when people in Omaha, Nebraska who keep their heat running non-stop are only burning around 250 ccm tops. They're now claiming she's burned 32450 ccms...that's fucking impossible. This is not an isolated case folks.

I'm going to keep posting these people's stories as much as possible...if nothing else it will be a historical record of how this city was driven straight into the goddamn ground by an unbridled monopoly while our leaders and media resources sat idly by and watched it happen. Mrs. Midura....this woman is in your district...do something now!

If there are any class action lawyers reading this (maybe Bruno and Bruno can actually put their sign to the test), please contact me as I am accumulating names and videotaping interviews with people as a record of what is happening.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't think Midura will do anything, did you know that the council recently renewed their contract with Bruno and Tervalon, and INCREASED the maximum sum payable?

The solution is fairly simple, the council needs to tell Entergy that they may not bill any customer (nor cut off their power) that disputes their charges until an investigation is performed by Entergy AND if not resolved to the customers satisfaction, then by an independent auditor. This makes it in Entergy's best interest to complete the investigations fairly. If, after the investigation, Entergy is correct then they may add on finance and penalty charges, if they are wrong then those are waived. Does anyone on the council have the sack to do it?

Daniel Smith said...

I want to hear more about Kamaaina's suggestion that some of the neighborhoods begin an energy co-op. What would be the source of this power?
Does anyone know if sugarcane ethanol can be used cost-effectively for a grid?

ps i'm a little worried about the zombie; the word verification is "hexbmn."

Slate said...

This month we had a similar situation, though not on an empty house and not quite as high a number. I have to look at the bills and see what the ccm is. I haven't had time as I've been scrambling just to pay the bill. BUT the payment arrangements were the same kind of thing: they extorted 500 bucks out of me the beginning of the month, then came to turn us off, then re-WORKED the original payment agreement, which became: Thanks for the 500 you already gave us, now you need to give us another 285 by the 23rd, after that it will be 168 bucks per month on TOP of whatever the current bill is (this for the next four months) and if you're one minute late you will be in default and shut off. No further payment arrangements can be made.

800 bucks we didn't have went out of this house this month, and for the next four months (with our bills averaging 350-450/month) another 168 on top. They're killing us.

Oh yeah, we DO live here, we have refused to turn on the AC, we DO have a yard with a BIG dog in it, but they claim to have read the meter.

I'm considering calling a lawyer, but with no money since it's all going to Entergy NO, I don't have the scratch.

Hers is not an isolated incident, for sure. I talked with a woman working in a shop on Decatur. She and her husband were getting bills similar to ours even though they were rebuilding their house, and only one room was wired for electricity. There was no gas there yet. ONE ROOM.

Enron 2.0 for sure.

I am truly at my wits end and feel like I'm being held hostage by the bills.

KamaAina said...

Your wish is my command...

One thought would have been to cogenerate using natural gas -- but the vampires control that, too! Of course, it is possible to generate methane gas using renewable sources -- perhaps another "stake in the heart" in the form of a neighborhood gasworks!

Out here on O'ahu, we have a trash-to-energy conversion plant called H-POWER. Two birds with one stone, and all that. Debris to energy, anyone?

If the rates citywide are as bad as I'm hearing, rather than the vampires just using exorbitant rate hikes to drive customers out of "bad neighborhoods" (much like their cousins the insurance companies are doing), almost any fuel source would be cost-effectve.

Karen said...

Robyn lived down the block from me, she and I spent much of the last year without gas because of a persistant recurring issue of water in the lines.

My problem has never been with my bills but with the insanity of "customer service"

I found Mr.Dupuis email address and send my complaints to him directly bypassing "Customer Service"

I would advise anyone with Entergy problems to make sure to cc all interested parties.

Mr Dambala, your Councilperson, The Times Picayune. and on and on

Anonymous said...

here's an idea that may help provide some perspective: everyone who reads AZ - New Orleanians, and people around the country - go look at your recent gas bill, and post the CCF or CCM reading here. tell us where you live too (city or state or neighborhood if it's in New Orleans). if you want to include more info from your bill, like i did below, I'm sure the Zombie won't mind.

here's mine in nashville (for a family of 3):
service period: 3/13-4/12 (30 days)
Gas Used (CCF - 100 cubic feet): 77
heat factor: 1.034
number of therms used: 80

current month charges: 91.30
local franchise fee: 5.58

total amount due: 96.88

----------------
more info on gas rates in NC, SC and TN:
http://www.nashvillegas.com/rates/rateInformation?section=res

Carmen said...

We should mobilize. If a march on crime got national attention, what about a candlelight vigil march called "A Night Out Against Entergy"? For symbolism's sake, we could march from Rev. Raphael's church in Central City to the Broadmoor home of our City Council President. It'd make a fine point for your documentary as well.

erzulie said...

Carmen,
I think that's a great idea. The squeaky wheel gets the oil (no pun intended!). I don't think the nation knows what's happening. I've spoken to several people here in Washington, DC and all have responded in disbelief. A march and media attention may aide in the effort in our cry for help.

Anon #2,
Great effing idea! A show of rates in other areas can show proof that the prices are not due to a "national increase" but of illegal activity that Entergy is forcing on the already struggling people in New Orleans. Let's show New Orleanians that they are not crazy and should not stand for this!

Here in Washington, DC where we've had some cool nights in feb and mar, I've had to turn my heat on. The avg bill has been $150-$200. I will look for my bill for the details...sorry I must post it later but it is in NO way as high as what's been reported.

Any one else?

Southern Leftist said...

Anon,

Midura was the only Councilperson that was not listed as a co-author on the legislation to renew Bruno and Tervalon's contract and was the only one who did not support it's renewal. She was also the only one that did not support renewing Ken Pailet's contract as well.

Robyn said...

I was interviewed at length by Jonathan Betz of WWL TV regarding the Entergy cluster f#$%. After I left the house, I got a call from my tenant (supposed to move in today) and she told me that Entergy had told her she could not have an account at that address since I "owed a large balance" -- I emailed mike dupuis, customer service rep for district A. He told me he was NOW only doing large commercial customer service, and I should go to the ccc center at jeff davis and canal. I did. I met with a nice girl who told me she could help me. If I paid "a portion" of the LARGE OVERAGE THAT I AM BEING CHARGED IN ERROR BY ENTERGY. I hemmorhaged $810.00. Now my tenant can open her account. Unless they screw her/me over more. I have been sending all my email threads with entergy to Val Exnicios. He's a plaintiff attorney I know. He won the Murphy Oil case for all those poor people. Anyhow, anybody interested should call his office and speak with Brandy, his assistant. Their number is: 504-410-9611 tell her that I have been sending Val email regarding this, tell her that you are interested in jumping on the bandwagon. This might make him want to move forward. I want to blow the lid off this mother.

Without the Zombie, I couldn't do this. Thanks Ashypie. You started this fire in me!