Skip to main content

Pigeons ARE evil (but mostly it's just the electric company)

If you have ever read That's Church, you know that Ginny over there hates pigeons. Hate is not a strong enough word, actually. Me? I never had much of an opinion either way regarding those birds. Until today.

According to several people, one of whom works for Duquesne Light, this morning a pigeon ran into an electrical wire in my neighborhood and caused a power surge (which also caused said pigeon's wings to go up in flames), our second in just over eight months. (By second, I am referring to second power surge, not second occurrence of burning pigeon wings.)

According to a recording, Duquesne Light first said there was an equipment malfunction. Just before the power came back on about 2.5 hours later, the reason changed to an animal. Regardless, we lost a computer, two cable (FiOS) boxes, a TV, a radio/CD/cassette player (hey, I still play cassettes sometimes), and about eight light bulbs. I am hoping since our AC works, the furnace will too (that was our big loss last time), but no idea. Others in the neighborhood are now without TVs, dishwashers, alarm systems, microwaves, and more.

I filed an automated claim and later talked to the claims adjuster who informed me that Duquesne cannot be held responsible for a power surge caused by an animal (again, supposedly a pigeon). I told this woman that this was the second surge in just over eight months and Duquesne must have sub-par equipment if a bird can cause this much damage. She did not seem to agree, but said they would do their investigation. After having talked to her, I am pretty sure I know how that is going to turn out.

Later I called Duquesne back and talked to a supervisor to express my utter disgust. He said pretty much what she said, that Duquesne can't help if a car runs into a pole (what happened last Christmas) or if an animal damages a wire. I said I understood that, but to be perfectly frank, I felt that their equipment must be faulty if these power surges keep happening. Last time almost 30 of us were out tens of thousands of dollars, and now we were going through this all over again, and that is just not acceptable. I said I would wait for the investigation results before I gathered the neighbors to talk to a lawyer as well as call WTAE so they can take action for us. He did not seem fazed, but pretty much kept defending the company, saying that the lines (some meters) have taken many surges that we did not even know about. Still, I say, what does it say about your equipment when an evil little bird can cause that much damage?!

So we are, once again, out hundreds of dollars. A new TV will cost over $300 (why should I buy a TV smaller than the one that died). We are hopeful if we replace our damaged power source for the computer, that will take care of it. If not, I am guessing we will be spending over $500 (I really have no idea what a new computer costs, but I bet I am low-balling it). But even with that expense, I am not sure we can justify turning it into our insurance when we won't get full replacement value and we have to pay a $500 deductible.

As Ginny from That's Church said, at least the pigeon died...


Anonymous said…
Holy smokes Facie that sux. Lets hope the third time is not the charm. Pigeons may or may not be evil. But you def nailed the electric company. I foresee pitchforks in your future.
Mel said…
hFIGHT the bastids.

also, be prepared to find out all sorts of things you wish you'd never known about the electric company, insurance company, laws and coverage. and yes, call in the news or lawyers or whatever ("Send lawyers, guns, and money"--can you name that tune???)

however, having tried to stand against unfair practices, and having attended meetings, organized neighbors, and generally raised he** about a stupid and unfair situation, what really brought about solution and happier ending was prayer. maybe you could learn from my painful experience, where I tried to fight the big guys and was stymied repeatedly. when I accepted it and just prayed, the whole thing went away. of course, that going-away chain of events began on the very day we were moving out of the neighborhood... alas.

well, I hope you can get some money for damages. that stinks a whole lot. truly.

p.s. when we moved here, we needed a little TV, and I found a 7-inch one at a yard sale for $5. four years later? still works like a charm. just sayin'...
chris h. said…
Oh my gosh. I never had anything like that happen and it's just awful. All that money! All those things! At least when our power has gone out it hasn't caused any damage. I feel for you--hope you get some satisfaction.
Anonymous said…
That's why you have power strips on important electrical equipment.
Facie said…
Thanks for the comments. I am waiting for the results letter (even though I am 99 percent sure I know what will happen) and then I will post an update.

And Anonymous 2, we did have power strips on both the computer and the TV that died. (We also had powerstrips on the other TV and computer that did not die.) Someone told me that the powerstrips have insurance, so I should probably look into that (though I don't have the receipts).

Interestingly enough, I have an old laptop that was not on a powerstrip and it was fine. Wish I understood how it all worked. At this point, we are really torn about getting a whole-house surge protection b/c each time we have (or will) spent about the cost of one of those things, which is good for one time only. Sigh.

Popular posts from this blog


Lately, I have had some anxiety. I have been waking up within an hour of when I fall asleep (partially because my bladder has its own timetable). And then I lie awake, worrying about various things. Mostly I worry that I am failing as a parent. I worry that I allow my child to be disrespectful to me more than she should. I worry that I am not forcing my shy child to do more things. And I worry that the few things I am pushing her to do will make her resent me. I worry that she gets stressed about school. I worry that she is bothered because she does not have a lot of friends. I worry because I don't know why that is.

I worry that we will be stuck in our house in our bad school district, a place where we would not send our child to high school when she graduates in two years (two years!). Then I worry that our somewhat introverted child will have to go to cyber school. Because there is just no way that we could afford to send her to Catholic high school, for which tuition is curren…

Why I am an "Other"

Last month while I was getting my driver's license picture taken, I tried to change my political party affiliation. For whatever reason, my choices were Democrat, Republican, Other, and None. But first, how I got there.

I registered as a Democrat when I first registered to vote, just before the '92 election. At that time, I was "kind of" liberal (for growing up in a somewhat rural area in western PA), and pretty much all of my relatives were registered that way, so it made sense. I was not really into politics at that young age, however.

As I got into my late 20s, I started to realize I was becoming more conservative, so a few years later, when it was time to renew my driver's license, I changed to Republican. I still remember the day at work when I told my coworker Anne that I was really a Republican. She told me she had known it for years. During the 2008 election, I was on board with John McCain running for president, mostly because I thought he was a good pe…

Calamityware for unique holiday gifts

I have been really lousy at blogging during 2016, for several reasons (some of which I don't even know). One big reason is time: Between working full time and helping promote Calamityware, plus having a small family and doing the occasional social thing, there is not a lot of time left to put thought into blogs. [Sadly, I can put hours into FB, but that is mostly my reading and not thinking, and perhaps writing short comments. :-)]

Anyway, since we are now in the middle of the holiday (shopping) season, I thought I would again promote Calamityware. If you are like me, you have a few people on your gift list who are really challenging to buy for. That is where Calamityware may come in handy. Following are the unique, quirky, fun, and even some beautiful items you can purchase here:
Various porcelain plates adorned with fun things like frogs, zombie poodles, pterodactyls, tentacles, a volcano, a vortex, and more; buy a plate or one of the series of fourSoup bowls with fly (1 fly per …