Friday, October 9, 2009

PG&E-Service Connect Dialog in Parkmont area of Fremont

Utilities in one of our homes for sale in the Parkmont area of Fremont had its gas and electricity off. The house had an offer on it and the signed offer was submitted to the bank. We knew it would be a while before any development took place with the lender.

Remarkably, the lender called 2 weeks later and was scheduling a Broker Price Opinion/appraisal or BPO. We were caught by surprise. It normally takes 2 months, and that is when all the planets are aligned just so. The poor appraiser could not do his job due to lack of utilities. I immediately stepped in and called PG&E. After the preliminary account verifications and so forth, this is sort of how it went:

PG&E: It will take 48 hours, so that will be Wednesday the 7th. And, the appointment will be from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

Me: That's a pretty long span of time there. Could I have a lockbox on the front door as well as place a letter there with our company letterhead, and account verification granting permission for the tech to enter? The code is D-L-M. The technician is aware of how they work right?

PG&E: Yes, we will take care of it. We do that all the time.

Me: OK, so let's go over that just one more time before I let you go. Since today is Monday, you will have it on by Wednesday, no later.

PG&E: That is correct. It will be turned on on Wednesday sometime between 8 and 8.

Me: Ok. Your technician's permission letter is at the front door as well as the lockbox. Everything you need is at the front door. Call me immediately if there is a problem. I can be there in 5 minutes.

PG&E: Yes, we have it all taken care of sir. And we will call you if there is a problem.

So, after that I called the appraiser and asked them if they could please keep the appraisal order open until Thursday. After I explained everything to him, he agreed, but it would be a stretch.

All was well.

Thursday morning, I get a call from Stephanie at PG&E.

Stephanie: Hello Mr. Preada. This is Stephanie from PG&E. I am calling to see if we can turn on the utilities at the property at 264...

Me: Pereyda. 2645 Oak St? But that was supposed to be all taken care of yesterday.

Stephanie: Oh, let me see. One moment... (1 minute hold) Okay, the order was never given. I'm not sure what happened.

Me: Can it get done today?

Stephanie: It usually takes 48 hours after the order is given. This order was never given to the Fremont dispatch.

Me: You can't be serious? Is there a driver in the area that can just get this done now. I placed the order on Monday.

Stephanie: Oh, I see here that it was. One moment ( 2 minute hold)... Okay, I called the Fremont dispatch and they should have it turned on today.

Me: What time (dreading the answer)

Stephanie: It's an all day opening from 8 to 8.

Me: Okay, just get it turned on ASAP. Do you have all my order information from the last time I called? Your technician's permission letter is at the front door as well as the lockbox. Everything you need is at the front door. Call me immediately if there is a problem. I can be there in 5 minutes. The combination for the lockbox is written there right? D-L-M.

Stephanie: Yes, it is all here. All I had to do was forward it to the right person there. It should be done today.

I call the appraiser and explained again. He would wait.

At 1pm, I got a call. It was Stephanie.

Stephanie: I just wanted to call because you requested if there was a problem to call.

Me: Okay I'm here. Do you need me to go to the property? Is the lock box not working?

Stephanie: The technician put in a property non-accessible code in the work order. He could not get in the house. He had to leave to go on another job.

Me: What happened? Did't he see the lockbox through the screen door and his letter?

Stephanie: Apparently not.

Me: It's there. Did he open the screen door to give it one last college try? I'm not going to put the letter on the front of the door with big bold PGE letters on it. People break into homes that are marked that way. They will know that it is an easy target. Come and squat here! No one lives here!

Stephanie: Mr. Preadia, I understand, but the technician did not find the letter or the lockbox.

Me: It's Pereyda. Did he at least get out of the truck? Or, did he just drive by with a, "welp, I don't see noth'n. Guess I better keep goin."? He needs to go back and open the screen door.

Stephanie: I will try again, but it may be tomorrow.

Me: NO. He needs to go back and do his job. Don't you agree?

Stephanie: I will get it re dispatched and see if he can go back.

Me: okay, but we need to hurry.

At 1:50pm Roger: (PG&E technician) calls

Roger: Hello... Mr. Pareidre, I'm out at the property, and I found the letter.

Me: It's Pereyda. Great. Can you turn everything on?

Roger: The lockbox doesn't work. Are you sure you gave us the right combo?

Me: (after verifying the tech was from PG&E) Yes, the combo is D-L-M.

Roger: Oh, I have here the combo is S-C-I.

Me: Nope, not even warm there. Try it again with D-L-M..

Roger: That did it. I should get it all up and running in 15-20 minutes.

My goodness. Next time I will put the lockbox on the PG&E gas meter. The tech will know where that is right? I'll let you know.

By Jeff Pereyda

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