CBG / Thermostat burnt my cables

1 Andover, United States

The reason that this incident occurred was most likely due to the build-out and the cost controls associated with the initial “build-out” of the Andover Regus Office Space. Many offices along the front of the building have to share temperature units with otherwise unrelated offices. Often, my unit is hot in the summertime and cool in the winter. The incident that recently took place, occurred due to a stretch of unseasonably warm days in December which caused the new tenant in Unit 221 to open her window in her office. I am sure she had no idea the consequences of her actions other than to allow herself some fresh air. Many of these unseasonably warm December days, however, also gave way to freezing evenings. The thermometer system in Unit 221’s Unit went into hyper-drive that night her window was left open. Maintaining the 72 degrees set on Unit 221’s pre-set thermometer probably lasted until a little after the sun went down. Her system probably did not kick in until about 5:00 P.M., but it ran at absolute peak capacity from 5:00 P.M. that evening until 8:00 A.M. of the next morning. My brother in law who is an Electrical Engineer stated that when the amount of voltage, current, and resistance reaches a level where actual plastic melts wires; there is a clearly an electrical code violation or some other problem and that it be immediately reported to the Town’s Electrical Inspector. I have taken that action nor have I even allowed him to do a site visit as he has requested.

Unit 221 was the “little engine that couldn’t”. However, as it tried, and it tried desperately to maintain the 72 degrees which was the preset for Unit 221; the window was no match as the Unit 201 was cold when we entered it the next morning – it had clearly succumbed to mother nature. All the while, instead of heating Unit 201, by proxy it began heating Unit 220 to dangerously high levels. Even before entering my office, I knew something was “off”, it was the distinct smell of burnt plastic. As I opened the door, I was hit with a blast of hot air as the rushed by me to warm the hall. The heat felt exactly like when you open the door to a hot sauna. I immediately ran to the baseboard that runs along Unit 220’s front wall because I did think about the possibility of electrocution and knew much of my cabling sat directly of these baseboard metal foil heating fins. Just as I picked up the cable wires, they were returned to the ground as they were burning hot to touch. I picked up a ruler noticed that the metal had melted right through the cable as I lifted it. My first thought was thankfully it had not been Friday – I think we would have had a real fire. Once these wires cooled, Gillian and I noticed how these once pliable cables had transformed to hard plastic foot long sticks, with some twisted and exposed wires.

As a result of this surge, my router, printer, and laptop were rendered useless. At the very peak of my busiest season. However, I was never told this, and the only thing that the Regus guy said was that the outlets that had blown were fixed. He did not stick around and ask if everything was okay. He said I should get a new router – which I had already done, but could not answer when I asked if it could have affected my other machines. This “ticket” system to get computer help is a dinosaur. All you are telling us is to go get it fixed elsewhere because my experience has been anything but useful when I have asked for a ticket. Did I mention this came at an EXTREMELY untimely period of my business as MOST of my insurance clients renew on January 1st. This slow two week process of elimination forced me to swap out my old computer and all of its contents for a new computer as again, I was slowly discovering over this two week period that my entire system was corrupted and would only work occasionally. It was death by a million pin ### as I first bought a new router as I realized that was fried because it would not even turn on. After recoding all my Networks, I began experiencing exceedingly slow downloading and then pages vanishing altogether. I brought my laptop up to Staples when it would not get out of Basic Command Language. The Computer Service Representative said that he would be lucky to get all of my original data over to my new computer and he confirmed that this could have definitely been caused by a surge.

As anyone knows, transferring data from one computer to another is never easy and I lost my entire ACT Database in the transition. You cannot even place a value on that, it was an accumulation of all my Contacts since I opened my business. When It finally occurred to me that everything was running great again except for the printer did I confirm that the surge took them all out. Everything had been blown during the surge and just as soon as the new printer completed the holy trinity of broken machines from the surge being replaced and FINALLY everything was up and working again. To say that I experienced stress and exhaustion during this period would be a HUGE understatement. I had to have friends scan me documents; race home repeatedly with my flash drive to print something; lean on Regus to Fax and Scan me items - it was two weeks of hell as I wasted so much time trying to fix what Regus caused in the first place.

I was kind, I did not even seek damages for the router, network, and laptop. I just cannot pay for the month of December, it was too personally stressful and it all began because of Regus’ faulty electrical system in Unit 221– my Holidays were ruined and I missed several events that were the reason I moved into Regus in the first place. I only want to hear that it my December rent has been waived and I will not want to negotiate. I will continue to pay for January and every other month as I have dutifully for the past 84 months as one of the original tenants of the Andover location. Ultimately when you break down the dollars and cents of what this cost me, it is excessive as CBG has exceeded over a million dollars in revenue in each of its last six tax returns, which makes my time worth close to $500 per hour. Commuting back and forth to Staples is not very efficient use of my time.

Jan 12, 2015

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