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Claim: conEdison is reimbursing its customers up to $350 in compensation for food spoiled during the August 2003 blackout.
Origins: The most (physically) damaging aspect of prolonged power outages for the average citizen is food spoilage. Perishable foods generally should be discarded after having been held unchilled for two hours or more, although modern refrigerators can usually keep them safely cool for up to about
Usually food gone bad from a lack of electricity was pitched into the trash with a sigh and a groan (and a trip to the grocery store quickly scheduled), but these days more people are aware (and taking advantage) of power company offers to reimburse their customers for spoiled food products. Hence the interest in a
But even if the form is genuine, the idea that conEdison customers can use it to obtain reimbursement for food spoiled during the August 2003 northeastern blackout is not. As the form states in its qualifying conditions:
The outage must have resulted from a failure in Con Edison's local distribution system and must have lasted for more thanAlthough many conEdison customers did experience power failures which lasted more than
"It's not true [that we are reimbursing customers for spoiled food]" said Joe Petta, a spokesman for Consolidated Edison Inc. unit Consolidated Edison Co. of New York Inc.The downloadable form now comes with a prepended page informing conEdison customers that:
"There is a claim form on our Web site, but it has always been there — we have said since day two (of the blackout) that we are not liable."
Con Edison has said the blackout likely originated outside its service area.
Petta said Con Edison, which provides power to more than nine million people in and around New York City, has been inundated with thousands of the spoiled food claim forms.
While we regret the inconvenience to our customers, thePending a change in conEdison's policies (or a new discovery regarding the cause of the blackout), customers whose food spoiled during the blackout will have to deal with it the old-fashioned way: toss it in the garbage and start over.
Last updated: 30 October 2007
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