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LIPA Sends Out Customer Bills

Nearly 200,000 customers are well into week two without power.

As Hurricane Sandy pummeled Long Island last week, Levittown's Victoria Kalt Waterman joined more than 900,000 of her closest friends in the dark.

Unable to reach the Long Island Power Authority or turn on her lights, she has been there ever since. In the meantime, she shivered and the mail showed up. So did the Long Island Power Authority bill, which she has yet to pay. After 11 days without power, Waterman said on Facebook "I will send my payment 11 days late."

The timely distribution of bills have angered some ratepayers, who have otherwise heard little from LIPA, forcing them to depend on an outage map many have called inaccurate. 

In Greenlawn, Edward Woody Ryder IV said he lost power last Monday. After six days of watching that outage map on LIPA's site, there was light.

On the seventh day, there would also be a bill for $138. "We are in a first world country, but we have a fourth world electrical authority,"

Ryder said. "It's astounding. They could have stopped the automated bill system. They clearly know nothing about crisis communications. What they've done makes no sense. How they've handled this makes no sense."

Across Long Island, readers said they haven't been able to reach the power authority. The text messaging system LIPA pumped before the storm was ineffective - silent, according to some, including

Rena Barsh-Rudolph, who wrote to East Meadow Patch that "my husband signed up to get communication from them via text and we haven't heard anything in days."

Matt Harris of Huntington Station hasn't heard much from LIPA either, even though he hasn't had power for 10 days. As for the bill? Yes, that came "two days ago."

Debby Izzo, who owns Dirty Dawg, a dog grooming business in Bellmore, was more forgiving than most.

She wrote "billing is done by computer" and added that "LIPA office employees" are doing their jobs. Izzo added, "Don't hate. Maybe take notice to how many more bills are estimated rather than actual."

Ryder, meanwhile, said he would pay his bill, because he had no choice. "What am I going to do, not pay it?" Ryder said. "I have to pay it. Otherwise they'll send me a disconnect letter and turn my power off."

LIPA spokesman Mark Gross didn't immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

Related Content
On Twitter, outrage over LIPA response

Helen November 10, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Hey - I got a voicemail this morning that said my power was going to be restored by tonight before 11pm, that they received my reported outage on the 7th - Funny thing is I didn't report anything. I've had my power since last Thursday night - and I never received a call about THAT....do you want to know why? That's because EVERY time I call LIPA to report an outage in my house they have my contact number wrong - I correct it, and the next time I report it, guess what? It's the same WRONG number as before. REALLY? As for the person who was out of power from the 7th - I hope your lights are on tonight - if this wasn't so pathetic it'd be comical. If they can't record the right number after 14 years - hell, ain't nothing going to go right....
Merry November 10, 2012 at 04:21 AM
Terry you obviously work for lipa so what do you do there? I bet you're on the clock or working overtime as your're posting. You're on the patch commenting way too much. Maybe there'd be power in more homes if you got back to work because you're so amazing. BTW the 100 year old oak tree in my yard was there before the poles and they're on crookhaven property so not my fault. Tree companies won't touch trees that are town property.
Kathy Martinez November 10, 2012 at 08:15 AM
There is one problem with your comment. You do not take into account that many of us are on a budget plan with LIPA. So whether you get electricity or not you still have to pay a set amount every month. The "credit" is not issued until the end of the budget year (which for me is July). I GUARANTEE that by the time the year ends, LIPA will have increased the rates (they will say it is because of this disaster) and none of us will ever see a dime back for the electricity we NEVER received!
Kathy Martinez November 10, 2012 at 08:20 AM
@Robert Smith - As I stated in another post - There is one problem with your comment. You do not take into account that many of us are on a budget plan with LIPA. So whether you get electricity or not you still have to pay a set amount every month. The "credit" is not issued until the end of the budget year (which for me is July). I GUARANTEE that by the time the year ends, LIPA will have increased the rates (they will say it is because of this disaster) and none of us will ever see a dime back for the electricity we NEVER received!
Kathy Martinez November 10, 2012 at 08:23 AM
Interesting that Verizon is up and running?! It seems they didn't run out of poles!
Kathy Martinez November 10, 2012 at 08:40 AM
I am so glad that both Terry and Robert have the money to be able to buy a generator, and are healthy enough to stand on lines for gas for that generator. There are many that are just trying to get by day by day with multiple jobs. The elderly with just their SS to live on. You are correct in that everyone knew this was coming and should have been prepared, but if you have a choice of ... oh lets see ... I need $200 for my LIPA Bill and another $1500 for my mortgage, etc..., but instead I need to buy a generator for this predicted storm in case I am out of power for a month. This is NOT just about the storm. LIPA has a history of poor management. This is also NOT about those poor guys out their on the poles through all the bad weather trying to restore order that have to face the rath of the public. This is about accountability and proper planning. Any company (especially a utility) that does not set up a solid strategic planning group, and does not plan for a natural disaster, is actually planning for massive failure. Just as we have to compensate every day in our lives and be prepared for any "disaster", why aren't they held to the same standards.
Kathy Martinez November 10, 2012 at 08:49 AM
Terry - You can post by using your Verizon cell phone ... oh gee ... they seem to be working!
C King November 10, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Terry I dont know what your position is at LIPA, but I am certain LIPA is not paying you to fan the fames of public outrage against LIPA - which is what your posts are doing. Please dont be so blinded by your paycheck that you continue to forget what your actual mission is - LIPA is paying you for public relations to monitor the chatboards and attempt to direct people to resources but Im sure your jjob descripition was intended to include in a polite compassionate manor that will oster a more positive impression of your employer. Take a look at your posting and see how they are actually adding fuel to the fire. People are hurting, people are trying and doing the very best they can do for themselves, their families and their neighbors and your comments are insulting. Take your own advise get off the computer and get out there and HELP people, because honestly you suck at the job LIPA hired you for.
TheWaterMillian November 10, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I love that "Joe F" is knocking someone for not posting their full name. Joe, you know what the difference between you an Terry is? An "F."
TheWaterMillian November 10, 2012 at 06:32 PM
I thought Robert Smith was the lead singer of The Cure?
Ann November 10, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I don't think anyone should be paying a LIPA bill for the month of October or November - they have a helluva nerve - and I don't want to hear the crap they have to pay their employees who have families that b....s....t
Ann November 10, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Terry - people don't want to leave their homes that they have been in for years so that some idiots can come along and vandalize - I worked too hard for my home and the things I have
Terry November 10, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I dont work for LIPA knucklehead. Why would you listen to the presumptuous fools on this website.
Ann November 10, 2012 at 08:06 PM
It seems to me that Terry has all the answers for everyone - just forget and let it go - well you know what Terry - I don't think so people are not going to forget this
Terry November 10, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Your tree should be your problem. The govnmt should make everyone take a course in storm preparedness along with those boater safety courses. If you dont you should be fined
Ann November 10, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I would not thank you if you were my last resort - your an arrogant self centered person and if you consider Long Islanders whiny - sit in the cold for 10 days brother no light no heat. but don't tell anyone to shut up because they are voicing their opinion and they are entitled to that regardles of there ift is good or bad.
Ann November 10, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Amen to that - I'm with you on that
Terry November 10, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Cant believe patch removes my comments. Nothing vulgar in them. Just sensible commentary
Elle917 November 11, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Amazing, LIPA billing systems works right on time. So, why can't LIPA service be restored right on time as in 9 days ago as originally promised? To change things at LIPA, voice your opinions now by calling or writing to your local and state officials. These officials can't help you if you don't make them aware of the magnitude of your problems with LIPA. To hold LIPA accountable, you can also sign the petition at: http://www.signon.org/sign/hold-lipa-accountable?source=homepage Long Islanders deserve better LIPA management - remember, you are paying for these services that you are not getting after days in the dark. Even with a retroactive credit, your expenses for generators, lanterns, temporary lodging, meals, etc exceed the credit that you will be receiving for LIPA's management not preparing in advance for this storm. Don't be silent on this issue, speak out to the right people and be heard!
Elle917 November 11, 2012 at 02:06 AM
@Terry. You seem to lack communication skills and compassion for people who have been suffering the prolonged effect of LIPA management's inability to resolve a power outage issue within the 9 days that were promised. Your posts use emotional language and are borderline hostile to those who are seeking answers to their power outage problems. Right now you seem to be part of the problem not the solution. Meaning that you are not actively LISTENING to what people's need - which is to restore their power as their homes which remain in the dark, cold and uninhabitable. If you really do work for LIPA, then FIX the problem. If you can't fix the problem then don't comment or consider getting into a different line of work - possibly in a dark, damp, cold closet so you can know how it feels to be without power for days.
Merry November 11, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Terry sure seems like you work for lipa a comment you had thursday november 8 at 413 sure makes it seem that way.
Merry November 11, 2012 at 02:54 AM
If you think sociopath = sensible then it's no wonder some comments were removed. Comments don't need to be vulgar to be insulting, moronic, or insensitive.
Terry November 11, 2012 at 03:45 AM
Yes you got me , I am the president of LIPA and Ive been on the beach in Florida for the last two weeks. You are a great detective.
MLU COTIE November 11, 2012 at 07:56 AM
800/a month for electric its like a mini mortgage the rates are outrages the equipment is outdated and i heard they're running out of poles. didn't they know the storm was on its way for more than a week why weren't the stockpiling their equipmant before hand we need another solution and/or suppliers of electricity switzerlands' power grids and lines are underground with all their snow and avalances THEY ARE PREPARED NOT LIPA
Nick Metrowsky November 12, 2012 at 12:26 AM
As a follow on to my earlier post, Long Islander protest wrath against LIPA just made the news here in the Denver, Colorado area on KUSA. By the way, let's hope they get everyone restore soon, we had a cold day here and the cold and snow is moving east.
Andrea November 12, 2012 at 05:48 AM
It makes me sick with the lack of compasion and respect people have for eachother. Long Island is in a critical state! Thousands of people lost their homes. People lost there lives!! Look at that poor women in Staten Island who lost her 2 small children. The power outages are not just from trees it is also from the major floodings from the oceans and the bays! Some people where prepared and some people werent and some could not afford it! It is not the LIPA workers it is the poor management! The biggest issue is the NO communication that thry have. It was the same issue when we had Hurricane Irene, LIPA did NOT communicate. This is what peoples complaints are. If LIPA communicated with everyone, people would not be so frustrated. Due to no power people are looting and breaking into peoples home because it is dark and they think no one is their. People are also stealing other peoples generators! Its the inconsiderate, insensitive and selfishness that some people should be ashamed of! My heart, prayers and Donations go out to everyone in need. This is one of the most devistating times on Long Island. People should be pulling together and not be so ignorant!
Virginia_Long Island, NY November 12, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Who do I send the bill to, for all of the food that I had to throw out - due to lack of refrigeration??
Frank November 12, 2012 at 07:07 PM
For that Virginia, you're out of luck. Directly from LIPA's website: Will LIPA reimburse me for spoiled food? LIPA is not liable for food spoilage or damage to customer property resulting from an act of nature, such as a major storm, which is beyond our immediate control. Stinks right?
Scott December 01, 2012 at 05:41 AM
Here's a simple truth: if you do not pay your bill, you will be shut off. You will do nothing but hurt yourself. Then you will have to pay an additional fee to turn it back on. Don't be idiots. People on balanced billing are getting billed for monthly usage based on your average usage throughout the year. At the end of the year, supposedly you will be discounted. Look at the big picture. Also, have your meter read and it will be discounted. Stop complaining and take your own action, but refusing to pay your bill will only spite yourselves.
Scott December 01, 2012 at 05:44 AM
Ann Elphick: don't tell people to not pay their bills. All that will happen is service disconnections. Believe me, LIPA will shut off the meter and leave a green card on your door telling you how much you need to pay to restore service.

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