Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Still Waiting for CUC...

Typhoon Choi-Wan didn't hit Saipan. There were no reports of damages to homes. Some banana plants toppled, but, by all accounts, this was a mild storm, with wind and rain, but nothing terribly serious.

The electricity at my house went out during the storm--sometime Monday night. It's now Wednesday morning, and CUC has yet to even visit my house to assess the problem.

I've called. The trouble desk lines are almost always "busy" so you can't get through. On at least one occasion, the phone actually rang (no busy signal) and then rang and rang and no one picked up. On the few occasions when I did get through, the guys answering (Joe and Bill) were courteous, but had nothing to tell me. I have no idea where in the queue of complaints our little segment of San Vicente is. I have no idea when a crew might get to us. I'm still waiting for the promised --we'll call you when the CUC crew is coming--call.

I enlisted support from my family. My sister-in-law managed to learn a bit more--which neighbors are still without power--and she spoke with Tony Muna personally. But that's not much more than I already knew and still no idea of when; not much greater reassurance than the trouble desk provided.

Today's newspaper gives a sunny report that CUC is on top of the situation of power outages from the storm. But I think that is optimistic, and not entirely accurate.

What bothers me most about this power outage, besides the inconvenience and loss of food in the fridge, is that this was a MILD storm. If this is the level of response from such a minor weather event, what can we expect if we have a serious storm or typhoon that actually hits us?


Jane said...

UPDATE: This morning at 8 AM, Joe told me there was a crew in Kagman. The implication was they'd come to San Vicente. At noon, Bill said the Kagman crew had nothing to do with San Vicente, but there was a crew in Dandan. They had two more jobs and then would head to San Vicente. We were on the schedule. At 4 PM I stopped by my house--no power. I called again. Bill said the crew went from Dandan to Papago. He had no idea why they skipped San Vicente. He does not have their schedule and wishes he did. He had no idea when a CUC crew would get to San Vicente to fix the power outage.

So here's my take on this--there's no reason Papago rates over San Vicente. They had to drive PAST us to go to that other job. That's not efficient, nor is it fair. So it's either politics or poor management.

And the fact that the work crews schedules aren't shared with the trouble desk is puzzling. The trouble desk not only takes calls, but gives out information. How can they when they're not clued in, either.

I think it's safe to say that CUC could needs better management, systems and protocols and definitely better public relations via the trouble desk.

Saipan Writer said...

My power was restored sometime last night, by 9:30 PM. And the CUC trouble desk called to confirm that I did indeed have power.

What a relief.

Today's Tribune reports that CUC says it had 150 homes without power from the storm. That seems like quite a large number, given the fact that there really was no storm--it never hit Saipan, it did little damage otherwise, and was nothing much more than some brisk wind and rain.

It also means that 150 homes, with more people inside those homes--so it's safe to say at least 300 people were effected by this problem.

CUC needs a better storm plan.