Home Utility Services Alabama Power undue harrassment

Alabama Power review: undue harrassment

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12:49 am EDT
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From: Karla Hogan
Subject: Alabama Power Account# [protected]
To: [protected]@acf.hhs
Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010, 9:45 AM

From: "APC Customer Service"
To: [protected]
Dear Karla Hogan,
Thank you for contacting Alabama Power.
It is a pleasure to assist you. In order to evaluate your account, we will need to know how much you are able to pay and on what date. The report you heard on the news detailed our efforts to assist customers in making payment arrangements on their bills. However, this effort does not include excessively high or multiple month bills. The representative who came to your door did so as a courtesy, as they are no longer required to come to the door since we do not collect in the field any longer. When the representative comes to your residence, all they are instructed to do is to interrupt service and leave. However, as you advised your husband's condition requires life support equipment to be in place at the residence, he left a card for you to call us about your account. When a customer advises there is such equipment in place, we will inform the local business office, and that customer or an authorized representative with Power of Attorney would need to come into the office the following business day with the contact information (name, address, phone and fax number) for the physician treating the individual for the condition for our medical review committee to contact them to discuss the condition and equipment. Should the customer or authorized person fail to come into the office with the required information, the office can re-issue the orders for the field representative to return and interrupt service until the account is brought current. At this time, the status of your account indicates the office is awaiting this information based on your statements to the representative when he spoke to you at the door.
We have included the contact information for the local energy assistance agencies in your area, in case there is one you may not have contacted previously. If you will advise what payments you are able to pay, we will work with you as best we can to help you to bring your account current.
It is our goal to provide you with superior customer service. If we may be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us, and thank you for using
Online Customer Service
American Red Cross (Project Share, FEMA, HELP) N/A [protected]
Area Agency On Aging (Office Of Senior Citizens Activities) N/A [protected]
Blount /St. Clair Counties - LIHEAP N/A [protected] (Blount) or [protected] (St. Claire)
Eldergarden N/A [protected]
Greater Birmingham Ministries N/A 326-6821
JCCEO - Homeless Aid N/A 923-0285
JCCEO - LIHEAP 238 S-6 Ave.Birmingham, AL [protected]
Salvation Army N/A 328-5656

From: "Karla Hogan" View contact details
To: [protected]
There are three disabled people who live in this household. My husband has lung disease due to silicosis exposure when he worked at ACIPCO for over ten years. He has a ruptured disc in his back due to automobile accidents and personal assaults he received as a police officer for over 15 years, He underwent an appendectomy in 4/2010 and had a heart attack in 6/2010 and they had to place a stent in one of his main coronary arteries and he is still having chest pains and may have to undergo open heart surgery in the near future. We have a 22 year old son who lives with us who has Crohn's Disease and involvement of his central nervous system due to an automobile accident he was involved in on 2/8/2005 which broke his left arm, broke his right leg and crushed his left foot. He underwent surgery where the doctors placed a rod in his left arm from his elbow up, they placed a rod in his right leg from his knee down to his ankle and attempted reconstruction of his left foot which did not heal properly and his left foot points outward. After his automobile accident, he was in a hospital bed for six months and he did his schoolwork while in the hospital bed (this was during his 11th grade) and as soon as he got out of the hospital bed and underwent physical therapy, he attended band camp at Hueytown High School (the band director offered to let him participate in the stadiums and not march but he was determined that he was going to graduate with his senior class and play his trombone in the marching band). It was a very painful time for him, but he graduated with his senior class, He auditioned for the UAB Blazers Marching Band and qualified for a band scholarship and moved into the dorm at UAB so he would not have to drive on the interstate every day. He was having the time of his life participating in the band and pursuing his studies to have a major in computer science and a minor in music. He was taking no pain medications and no other medications and we were all very proud of him and thought he was on his way to do what he loved - computers and music. Unfortunately, during the Christmas break in 12/2006, he began having problems with his stomach and after a trip to the emergency room at UAB for what we thought was a stomach virus, he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Even after being released from the hospital, he returned to the dorm and was determined he was going to keep going to college. However, after a week, we had to withdraw him from college and help him move back home because the pain, anemia and continuous fatigue made it impossible for him to continue college. He has no health insurance and has been waiting for approval of SSI benefits for three years and as of today, we still have not seen anything saying he has been approved. He has to take multiple medications that we have to purchase from the pharmacy and he has no insurance that covers his doctor visits or medications. I am usually taking him to the emergency room at least one time a month when he has a flare of his Crohn's Disease and the medications he has at home does not help the pain. I was employed at UAB and worked for a cancer surgeon. For about a year and a half I had complaints of not being able to breathe when I tried to lay down in bed and go to sleep. Every time I wemt to the doctor, I was told I just had acid reflux and was given every kind of anti-acid drugs such as Pepcid, Zantac, Prilosec, etc.with no relief. I would roll around on the floor in pain at night and try propping myself up on the couch to get a few hours sleep. I always went to work the next day because I was the only secretary for this surgeon and no one else even knew how to do the job. In November, 1998, I had a small knot appear in my left chest wall. The knot started getting bigger every day. One week before Thanksgiving, I returned to see the doctor feeling surely they would see the knot and be able to help me. All the doctor said was that my left rib cage was distended a little more than my right rib cage and that my urine sample indicated blood in my urine and I was set-up to undergo an IVP to check out my kidneys. After the IVP, the doctor contacted me and told me that the test did not show anything wrong with my kidneys. I asked him about the problem with my left rib cage and he said I had arthritis in my rib cage and to just take some Aleve and I should be alright. So, I went through Thanksgiving in pain that Aleve did not help but I just told myself I was going to have to live like that. A few weeks later (about two weeks before Christmas) I got upset because one of the other ladies working in the building told me she could see the knot through my shirt. I became upset and cried and the surgeon I worked for told me "Just schedule a CT scan and use my name as the ordering physician so we can get over this and concentrate on work", I went to have the CT scan done. When they put the contrast in through an IV, I began having pain and could not breathe. They had to stop the test and let me sit up and they had to remove the IV. I happened to glance over to where the people were who were running the CT scan and noticed there were at least 10 people in there. I thought they were looking at another person's test. I got dressed and walked from Kirklin Clinic back to my office in the Lyons-Harrison Bldg. and was surprised to see the surgeon I worked for sitting in a chair in front of my desk because he was supposed to be in the operating room. He told me I had a large tumor in my chest wall and that I would need surgery to remove it very soon. He called my husband and told him he was sending me home and told him what was going on. I then began the rush to get Christmas ready for my children who were ages 19, 10 and 8. Instead of waiting for Santa Clause to come, I had to wrap all their presents and put their name in really small letters on the back in case I did not make it home for Chrisrmas. I hugged and kissed my two youngest children as they left for school that day and then I got ready to go to the hospital to have my surgery. The doctor had told us he thought the tumor was encapsulated and they would be able to just "pop" it out. However, over eight hours later, I was in recovery and moved to a hospital room where I was told they had to remove the 13 cm tumor that had "tentacles" wrapped around other parts in my chest, four left ribs, part of my left lung, part of my sternum, reconstruction of my diaphragm, removal of 22cm of tissue and muscle from my chest cavity and then had Gore-tex mesh stuffed in my chest cavity to protect my heart and what remained of my left lung. I was released from the hospital sooner than usual for that type surgery because I wanted to be home for Christmas. I went home on Christmas Eve. After six weeks at home, I went back to work because I was determined I was not going to give up. Every day was a struggle and I went home every evening, took care of my children and then went and sat in the bathtub and cried. After a year and two months of working, I was getting worse and had to go home and file for disability. My husband and I both started working when we were 12 years old. We have never had help from anyone and have never expected anything to be given to us for free. We lost our home that we had lived in for 30 years to foreclosure in 11/2007. After living in a camper for a few months, we found this home at 379 White Oak Trail to rent. Our landlord has a stipulation in the lease contract that states if utilities are disconnected, then we will be evicted. So, if Alabama Power cannot work with us on the remaining balance and disconnects the electricity, we will again be homeless. We are trying to find a home to purchase. This home has many problems - sewage draining on your right side when you go out the back door, the washing machine drains out the wall into the front yard, the dirt driveway has gulleys in it and almost basically tore up one of our vehicles, the heat pump does not provide heat and when we tried to turn it on a few days ago it smelled like wiring and rubber burning, the "patio room" where the washer and dryer are located has multiple leaks in the ceiling which has caused mold to grow on the ceiling panels and about a month ago water started leaking onto our coffee table in the living room and 48 hours later, the landlord showed up and found that a container in the ceiling that was supposed to catch condensation from the air conditioning had tilted over and he fixed that but since so much moisture had soaked the insulation, we had to leave bowls on the coffee table for over a week to catch the water which was yellowish in color and disgusting to look at and the floor coming out of the one bathroom in the house sinks in when you walk on it and it is probably close to crumbling away. Right after my husband returned home from the hospital after his heart attack, a water line outside began leaking and I had to dig up the dirt to find the leak and my husband had to tell me how to fix it so our water bill would not be outrageous. I paid $350.00 on this electric bill on 10/6/2010 and plan to pay the rest of it as soon as I can. The list of places that customer service gave me over the telephone all told me they had no funds to help anybody and probably would not get anymore funds until January, 2011. I was upset and when I called the American Red Cross and they told me they had no money, I asked the woman what were we supposed to do and she stated that "we might just have to learn how to live without electricity". I just sat and cried when she said that. The United States is always sending millions and billons to help other countries, but people living here cannot get help. I would appreciate it if you can work with us on the remaining balance. I do not know how it got to be such a high balance but we have so many health problems and time goes by faster than what it used to when we were younger. We have paid our electric bills for over 30 years and I do not know what we will have to do without to replace the $350.00 we have paid Alabama Power and what else we will have to do without to pay the balance. I am putting it in God's hands and maybe he will show me the way.
Thank you,
Karla J. Hogan
379 White Oak Trail
P.O. Box 223
Warrior, AL 35180


The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

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Feb 12, 2011 12:33 pm EST

I feel so bad for you and your family, Karla. I, too, have always wondered why everybody gets help from America, except America. People like you and your husband, who worked all their lives paid taxes into the system, should be able to get the help they need when they need it. I stopped giving to Project share a year or so age when I saw other instances where Alabama Power shut off power to homes where people were in dire need. It made me angry that I thought I was giving to Project share and they weren't sharing. Never again will I give to that or Alagasco's similar program. I believe it's a scam to give them more income. And, recently, a man who had a disability, died in a fire caused by a space heater. He lived in a home with no utilities. Now where was Alabama Power to SHARE with this man, who needed a hand? He could have had power, and used electric heat to warm himself, instead of a kerosene heater which caught his bedding on fire.
Please let me know how you and your family are doing. I hope your son with Crohn's disease has found help in coping with it. He can live a full life with it, and finish college. He deserves to be able to have a good life. I have a son a few years younger than your son, so it hurts my heart to hear of children suffering. There are online support groups that can help him. Good Luck yo you and your family. LCM


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138 complaints
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Phone number
600 18th Street North, Alabama United States