Dear PoP – Pepco and Roof Decks Redux

Picture of the 2009 Recession
Photo by PoPville flickr user schmiddi

“Dear PoP,

Have you gotten any comments from folks about Pepco’s phone hold times? I have tried calling every weekday for the past week during business hours just to simply ask a couple of questions about my bill and my hold times are being estimated between about 45 minutes today to over 3 hours last Friday. The other day’s hold times have been within that range and never been lower than 45 minutes. I obviously can’t wait that long as I actually have to work. Any thoughts on why the demand is so high or capacity so low on Pepco’s customer service lines.”

We talked about surging bills here but this is the first I’m hearing of super long hold times. Any else notice this?

“Dear PoP,

I just bought a rowhouse and am thinking about installing a rooftop deck. Is it worth it? The views would be of the development cranes and new buildings in NoMa. Any idea of what the costs are to install the deck and whether I would be able to recapture these costs at resale?”

We discussed roof decks here. How much value do you guys think installing a roof deck would add to a house?

18 Comment

  • I wrote the following in response to the Jan. 26 Pepco posting:

    this is amazing that you guys are discussing this right now. I just returned home from work and opened my pepco bill: $276.72. WHAT??? I was upset by last month’s bill of $122.52, and never in my wildest dream did I think this month’s bill would be this much. Th rest of you will have to get in line b/c I will be calling pepco first thing tomorrow morning to bitch about this outrageous bill. Unbelievable.

    I wrote a letter to Pepco’s Andre Frances, who responded to my e-mail in a timely fashion. I suggest using this method if calling proves too laborious. Additionally, I suggest that those of us who are unhappy with the amount of money we’re being charged for Pepco’s services send letters to our respective council members to complain about what I consider to be legalized robbery. Pepco’s lame explanation to me that the cost of electricity has gone up doesn’t seem to me a reasonable explanation for such a drastic increase. I suspect and hope, that if enough people complained about this highway robbery, the company would not just dismiss or ignore the complaints of those of us who are fed up with this outrageous practice of charging exorbitant fees for their services.

    Question: How many of you would move into an apartment with the understanding that you’d pay upward of $200 per month in utility costs. Answer: I suspect not many.

    My hope is that if enough of us complain, to Pepco and to our council members, various media outlets will take note and begin investigating Pepco’s practices.

    As they say, light is the best disinfectant. Perhaps media attention can embarrass Pepco enough that it stops robbing its customer base. But if the company is anything like the idiots on Wall Street, embarrassment probably won’t suffice. But we’ll never know unless we try. Let’s go, PoP community, let’s prove our mettle.

  • I had to call PEPCO to fix an issue with my online access a couple weeks ago and it took me 35 minutes on hold. Once I got to talk to someone, they were very friendly and fixed my problem asap but it was a long wait.

  • I noticed the long waits too. I think when they “upgraded” the online billing system that messed everything up – thus lots of customers calling who couldn’t pay their bill. My experience was that I had to create a whole new online account (despite having one) and then when I tried to process a payment, it keep getting an error. I can only imagine that I’m not the only previous online account holder that had this problem. In either case, it is ridiculous. i had to resort to paying at the office on 9th to now be late.

  • Every time I call Pepco it’s a 15-25 minute wait. They are the worst. The reps sound helpful, but in reality, they are not. They transfer you around to the wrong place, hang up on you, and never follow through. I have been waiting 3 months and counting to get someone to read my electric meter. Pathetic.

    • ah

      They are the worst, except for Washington Gas. Pepco at least hides better the fact that the reps are located around the world somewhere. Wash Gas doesn’t even try. Plus they have zero authority to do anything, and if you convince them you should get to speak to a supervisor, the supervisor calls you back rather than get on the line immediately. And always calls back at your work number during the evening.

  • I know I have been trying to call to cancel my Pepco service and the wait times have been hours!

  • This Monday I had to call Pepco and from 9am-11:45am I got a busy signal. A busy signal!

  • I haven’t been able to get into the online system since they changed it over. It’s really irritating.

  • I dont think a roofdeck adds much value in DC because the views dont offer much. In baltimore you get views of downtown skyscrapers. But in DC its really just a deck that happens to be on your roof. I think how much you recoup depends mostly on the view and functionality. If you have a large yard and deck already the roofdeck likely wouldn’t get much use. if you have a small lot then a roofdeck would add needed outdoor space.

  • i attempted to post a long diatribe earlier, but it’s not up yet. what gives?

  • haha, i just wrote pepco an email because they wanted me to wait for 1.5 hrs for an agent. this was on monday actually. so i wrote them an email that their customer service might as well be non-existent. we will see if they respond.

  • Yup, had lots of problems with the new online payment system. I’ve paid it twice and they still say they are going to shut off my electricity -ugh. Plus, long phone waits.

  • I opened my bill a few weeks ago and it also went up over $150.00!!
    Shocked, even though we had some cold weather, and my thermostat was on the same setting. I called and was on hold for a long time and the woman sent me some “energy saving” info. She also gave me my meter number in my apt. building..

    Curious, I went to check the meter and the reading they said was an ACTUAL reading was not! They were 1000 kw/h off!!
    I had to call back and wait yet again for 45 mins even though they estimated 20 mins…
    Luckily they did change my bill.

    I am not happy with Pepco. Never heard of such a ridiculous misread. Supposedly they do have actual people come out to read the meter. I think the person who reads ours, as they are digital, needs stronger glasses!!

    This is only my sixth month in DC so I am very disappointed with their services.

    • ah

      I had a misread like that a year or so ago. They corrected it the next month and I didn’t have to pay during the “dispute”.

  • I have been unable to pay my Pepco bill since they transitioned to the new online account system. I have tried calling but only get a busy signal, and I emailed them 10 days ago asking them to reactivate my old account or allow me to set up a new one and haven’t yet gotten a response. I just sent them another email letting them know that I won’t be paying my bill until they reactivate my account.

  • Pepco transitioned from one online system to another – from “BillPay” to “My Account”. You’ll have to make a new account for the new system in order to log in again. Of course, it doesn’t say this *anywhere* on the page!

    • Thanks, I figured that out yesterday. The only problem is that Pepco requires you to have information from your last bill to set up a new account, and since I only get electronic statements I don’t have access to that information since they abruptly ended access to the old online accounts. So I’m still going for my plan of not paying into they fix the problem for me.

  • I had a $900 pepco bill last bill. I was only in town for 15 days that month, during which time I had everything shut off, except my thermostat was set to 45.

    It took them 6 months to figure out my 1800 square foot home should not be billed on a large commercial business rate, can’t wait until they figure this out in 2015.


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