I-Team: No answer reporting power problems?


CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has found more people saying they can’t get through to Cleveland Public Power to report power out, especially in severe weather.

So, we’re investigating what happened to a Cleveland City Hall promise to fix it.

Last year, we first exposed the problem.

We found some customers got no answer after a big storm. Others waited and waited for up to 25 minutes.

So, the city said it would out in a new system for taking your calls. In November, a spokesperson wrote the city planning to “acquire an interactive voice response system that will take up to 1,800 calls simultaneously.”

But, for this story, city hall would not answers questions about that.

Sheila Harris tells the I-Team, just weeks ago, she also couldn’t get through to report power out in the Buckeye-Shaker Neighborhood.

She said, “I got a recording and a dropped call. It just cut out.”

So, she wonders about that new system.

She added, “I saw no evidence of it. Not a thing. I even tried calling the mayor’s office.”

Friday morning, we called the trouble line, and we even got a recording and waited five minutes just with rain falling.

We wanted to walk into Cleveland Public Power headquarters and ask questions. But a sign in the front window says building closed. It’s been closed since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Still closed, even with so many things now opening up again.

So, we called Cleveland Public Power twice without identifying ourselves. Call-takers told us they were not aware of any new system for handling trouble calls.

Again, city hall and Cleveland Public Power did not answer questions about whatever happened to that new system.

Instead, the Mayor’s Office released a statement that said, in part, “The CPP Call Center is currently fully staffed.  We are also prepared…to answer calls…in the event of a dramatic increase in call volumes. “

Through it all, Sheila Harris just wants to stop worrying about getting through to get help.

She said, “We are left in the dark, literally, with no information. No way to reach the company.”

We plan to keep shining a spotlight on any problems getting through to Cleveland Public Power when the power goes out.

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