ComEd Won’t Reimburse Residents For Spoiled Food

CHICAGO (CBS) — If some of your food spoiled when your house lost electricity this week,  ComEd says it’s not responsible for replacing it.

ComEd spokesman Paul Elsberg says this week’s massive outage was caused by an act of nature, and that’s not one of the reasons the utility will reimburse customers.

“ComEd accepts claims for losses that result from actions taken by ComEd,” Paul Elsberg said.

“In the case of this storm, which is an act of nature, ComEd does not reimburse customers for damage to their property or food spoilage.”

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Elsberg says food will stay frozen in a fully stocked freezer for up to 48 hours if you leave the door closed.

Nearly 200,000 customers were still without power 48 hours after the storm.  More than 850,000 customers initially lost service.

  • The Truth

    “ComEd accepts claims for losses that result from actions taken by ComEd,” Paul Elsberg said. REALLY?!?!?! So ComEd failing to bury the power lines in the ground so that they are not affected by weather…is not an action taken by Com Ed?! They’ve been in business since 1907, and they’re going to try to claim they didn’t know bad weather hits Chicago every single year?! Give me a break!!

    • bobby

      I agree with you in principle, but I have to ask, didn’t you see all the power lines in your neighborhood before you purchased your house? I love the suburbs, but in order for the utility companies to keep up with the outlying sprawl they cannot afford to bury every line at this point without a major rate increase. Outages due to severe weather are just part of living in the suburbs. Your best bet would be to invest in a generator to avoid future service disruption.

    • Melissa Wilfenger

      I totally agree with you. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • CK

    Using the weather as an excuse for not providing adequate resources to react to their failed product sounds like dodging responsibility to me. If any other industry failed to perform and react in a timely manner such as this they would lose customers.

  • dan

    Obviously you idiots have no idea of what it would take to bury all the power lines in the chicagoland region-Would you be willing to triple your electric bill to pay for it. And that will solve the wind/tree issue but what about ground water and floods?

    OBTW-If you want cheaper electric bills get rid of all your TV’s except 1 as well as the computers, the extra fridge in the basement, all those devices that use power all day, start lifting the garage door by hand etc. etc. etc. just like the old days.

  • ChicagoCitizen

    Com Ed should be commended for the fantastic job they have done with this storm. Considering the amount of dammage, their response was excellent. Those of you who were looking for a magic wand fix are being unrealistic. And only a complete moron would expect a power company to reimberse them for damage resulting from the aftermath of a storm.

  • Dark in LZ

    Well call me a moron then because, if I had been informed prior to Tuesday afternoon that I would not have power until maybe Friday, I would have made arrangement to store my food with a friend. When my neighbors were restored power on Monday at 5pm, I thought it would only be a matter of few hours before I got power back on. I think that Comed failure to communicate in a timely manner the recovery of my power and it extending to 5 days they should re-imburse for spoiled food amongst other related expenses.

    • Spoon

      The morning after the storm, the official statements said it could be several days before service would be restored. You made an assumption that never should have been made based on the evidence presented and you payed for it.

      Buy a generator and be responsible for yourself, rather than demanding someone holds your hand.

  • Long Power Outages Cost Restaurants Thousands « CBS Chicago

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  • Doug

    I Laughed out loud seeing this headline then remembered we’re living in an era when Americans expect to be taken care of by everybody but themselves. Living in Chicago many people (understandably) become cynics but this isn’t TV or the internet. It’s the real word. Stuff happens. Expect the best but plan for the worst. We gotta help.

  • Joe Patroni

    Bunch of spoiled yuppies living in the North Shore. Hotels? for a few days? Look at Japan and Joplin Mo. Get rid of your Lexus’, Northbrook homes and vacations you can’t afford and come down to Earth to walk among us mortals. You are the folks who demanded govt. services in the sixties and seventies, tax cuts in the 80s and 90s during your top earning days and now won’t sacrafice a tinker’s damn in Social Security and Medicare

    • William Smits

      My God, you have summed up the state of the wealthy people in our society. Excellent comment, Mr. Patroni, keep up the good posts. Greed is the name of the game.

  • Suburban_Citizen

    You want the lines buried then reach in that wallet…why should other rate payees front the cost? These comments are coming from the same people that protest increases that would invest money to the system for a smart frid and these are the same people that refuse ComEd to trim the trees.

    Well you reap what you sow…how pretty are those trees in 100 degree heat with no power. It was a nasty nasty storm as I was driving in it… I can’t believe people actually work out in that mess.

  • CL

    Suburban_Citizen, I didn’t realize you had the option to not have your trees cut by ComEd. I thought they had to cut them to keep the power lines clear — specifically for this reason.

    I understand nature is nature and all power lines won’t or can’t be buried.

    However, were any of these downed lines preventable on ComEd’s part? Ex: should some trees or branches have been cut in the past to prevent hitting the power lines in a storm but weren’t?

    I don’t think any of these branches that took down power lines flew 20 feet and then hit the line. They fell right off the tree onto the line.

    Is ComEd trying to save money by not trimming all the tress they should be and now customers are without power longer than they should be (losing all their food in the process)?

    • Spoon

      There was a branch from our elm tree that made it to the other side of the yard after coming off the top of the tree, that’s A LOT more than 20 feet.

      As far as ComEd trimming trees, you can never get a consistent answer from them. There seems to be a muddy area based on the trees being located in a person’s yard/property line or not. I know out here in the burbs, they have been trimming trees along the roads since April. However, when you get into the neighborhoods things change drastically.

  • Spoon

    Wait, people actually though ComEd would pay for spolied food from a massive power outage? Really?

    How about buying a generator, since you live in an area with massive storms and winter storms, like a person with common sense would…

  • Cynthia Collazo

    i live in waukegan one of the hardest places hit, i am a hard worker and dont depend on assistance or beg for money or food, I am not asking com ed to pay for my food which i thankfuly did use common sense and although we coudnt afford a generator we got a cooler full of ice and we still had two bags of ice from the week before outage where we used that in coolers and in the freezer until we were told it would be up to a week before power would be restored, we moved out the frozen food we would not be able to eat within 2 days and that was not grillable and made do with what we had, its not cheap but we are managing it, its hard with 3 dogs and two teenagers but its a responsibilty i took upon myself, what i am wondering though is since we have had no power since monday and they saying possibly saturday is the day we will be back on, how does that affect our bills? do we get credits? they cant charge me for service we did not use. my bill is due tomorrow and even though we have no service and i have many people telling me not to pay it, it will be paid on time like every month that it is. mother nature really sucks right now but i hope that com ed will at least give some type of credits or something since granted it is a act of “nature ” as they say as a faithful com ed customer thats all i want to know. waukegan got hit something awful but we are trying our best to manage. its just a long waiting game and as much as we are all frustrated can do nothing about. i will continue to thank the com ed workers when i see them on the street even if my power is out, they are working beyond belief to get everyone back on. its going to be hard for the next few weeks but i am looking forward to having my electrcity back on soon.

  • righttrack

    File a claim with your homeowners inurance company. Make them pay and then they can fight with ComEd for reimbursement.

  • mark

    The frustration that people are experiencing isn’t with the actual power loss. While that is a bummer, we all know that these things happen. We also know that it takes time to repair these problem. What I and others are truly frustrated with is the lack of communication about when the issue will be repaired. Have you attempted to call Comed? I have multiple times. My power has been coming in and out over the last 3 days. I live on the South Side. When I call I recieve an automated message that says, “Crews have determined that additional resources are needed and crews have been dispatched to restore power. Estimated time of restoration is_____.” The last part is the problem. For me, power was estimated to be restored at 9:30pm, then at 9:30 it was the same message with 3am, then at 3am it was the same message with 8:15am, then at 8:15am it was 10:30am, now its 12:30. I just spoke with a Comed rep and they said someone is just now being dispatched to the location to see what the issue is. THAT IS THE PROBLEM. If you tell people the power is going to be back in a few hours, why would they go out and spend money on things they won’t need. If you tell someone the power is not going to be restored for days, then thats a different story.

    Bottom line, don’t lie to us. Don’t give us an eta that isn’t based on any actual data or analysis. Don’t treat me like I’m a six year old child. I can be upbeat, positive, and understanding unless I’m lied to. Once that happens, it’s another whole issue you’ve started.

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