A tale of two utility companies

WINDHAM — On Jan. 5, a strong wind storm toppled a dead tree onto some power and phone lines, snapping off the top of a utility pole and knocking out our electricity, phone, and Internet.

This took place on an unplowed section of Old Cheney Road in Jamaica near the Windham border. It affected only five homes, including ours in South Windham.

We immediately called Green Mountain Power and FairPoint to report the outages.

Within two hours, GMP had two workers there to assess the problem. They assured me they would get the power restored, no matter what it took.

Within four hours, they had hired a local operator who plowed a quarter mile of the road to the broken pole.

Within seven hours, they had restored power by connecting the wires and roping them to a tree.

The next day, they replaced the pole.

FairPoint said initially it would be three days to restore service. When we called after three days, they said they needed two more. Finally, six days after our first call, our phone rang.

A serviceman with a thick Southern accent said he had connected the two ends of the phone and Internet lines.

He said he had driven up the unplowed section of Old Cheney (not knowing any better), and he asked for directions to return on the plowed section.

Green Mountain Power: Thank you very much. We are pleased to be served by a company with a capable, local workforce who cares about the customers, even if there are only five at the end of the line.

FairPoint: Ours is only one example of your current poor service. We urge your company and union to settle your differences.

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