CLEVELAND (WJW) — Recordings released to the FOX 8 I-Team show people called to report their power out, and they hung up outraged.
The recordings show people sitting in the dark for days called the CPP “trouble line,” but they found themselves kept in the dark about repairs.
One customer said, “I called yesterday. I called today. I called the day before.”
A CPP employee said. “We got the message, ma’am. We’re gonna get a crew out there as soon as we can.”
And, the customer responded with, “They’ve been saying for three days, ‘Soon as we can, soon as we can.’”
Another customer called, saying, “Yes, we got a power outage over here. Anyone coming to fix it?”
The CPP employee answered, “I just got that call. I gotta pull it over.”
But, the customer quickly said, “We called earlier, and they said they got the call, too.”
The I-Team found, after the storms, callers waited up to half an hour and more to talk to someone on the “trouble line.” Now, the recordings reveal even the employees were in the dark about what was happening in the streets.
A caller said, “I haven ‘t had power since the storm, Thursday night.”
And, the CPP employee responded with, “I’m gonna go ahead and see if we can get a crew over there. I know they’re on the west side, I just don’t know what particular area.”
Still, another caller said, “We saw a guy [crew] yesterday on our street, but he was on the other side of the street. And, he said he didn’t know our power was out, and we’ve called many, many times.”
The I-Team has tried to find out at Cleveland City Hall, can you expect anything better the next time severe weather hits, and you report your power out? Mayor Justin Bibb recently, backed out of a promise to talk to us.
Then, the director of public utilities didn’t promise any help. Last month, we spoke to Martin Keane, and we told him we didn’t hear him say that anything will change.
He responded, “We learn from every event, and we learned from this event, and we will continue to try to get better.”
The utilities director pointed out, customers can also report power outages online. But, the records indicate people desperate for information called the “trouble line” and they hung up disgusted.
In fact, one caller said, “We’ve been calling for days. Where are we, in terms of, when will that be addressed?”
Customers have complained, for years, about the system of trying to report outages to CPP and get information. Now, for the first time, we heard what those customers listened to when calling CPP.
The response to the storm also led to a firestorm over the pace of repairs. And, last week, city council passed a measure allowing CPP to enter into a contract with outside repair crews to already be on standby in situations like this.