Woman says her power was shut off after $6 past due bill

- Thousands of metro Detroiters still haven't had their Smart Meters installed meaning they could be subject to power shut offs.

For the past two days it has been a chilly situation for 47-year-old Lisa Kracchiolo of Warren and her family.

"I have a husband recovering from cancer," she said. "I have two little kids that are cold at night because of this and I have been getting the runaround from DTE every time I call."

Kracchiolo says DTE Energy for some reason, thought she was refusing to have a new Smart Meter installed. Kracchiolo says after receiving a letter to upgrade her meter she scheduled the installation for Nov. 11. But on Nov. 1 her was power cut.

"I'm not available when they want to do it.," she said.

FOX 2: "But you set up (an appointment) time."

"There's no record of it," she said.

Kracchiolo called several times then was told the Smart Meter installation would be Dec. 4 but got no estimate on when her power would be back on.

"They're bullies," she said. "They're absolute bullies for what they're doing."

After calling FOX 2 for help Thursday, the smart meter was installed and her power restored. But Friday morning the power was off again: this time Kracchiolo says because of a past due bill of $6 and change.
 
"There's no excuse for this, my bills are paid on time," she said. "My bills have been paid on time since I've been a homeowner."

She paid the bill and a reconnection fee of $25-dollars.

"I'm still upset," she said. "But if this is the only way that something can be done, so be it."

But DTE says they still have no record of Kracchiolo making an appointment and with 2.6 million smart meters installed, and roughly 10,000 left across the state, they say they're trying to make the process as easy as possible.

"When they get to the business or the home it is typically a 10 to 15-minute process," said Brian Calka, DTE, adding there is also an option for customers who don't want a Smart Meter but have to get an upgrade. "It's called an opt-out meter, looks like (one) however there are no electronics on board."

DTE officials also say if for some reason the meter can't be installed, they'll send three letters and customers can set up a date and time that's convenient for them - reminding them that power could be cut off -- if they don't respond.
 

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