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"Not good enough" – papers round on power firm

A newspaper serving an area where the power was cut off for more than five days is calling on the electricity firm to pay out compensation.

The Cambridge Evening News complained: “It’s just not good enough”, in a front page headline and comment piece on an interview with 24seven’s electricity division head Steve Shine.

More than 2,000 homes were still without power in the area five days after the country was battered by the recent gales.

At the start of this week – more than seven days after the severe weather – some of those homes were still waiting to be reconnected.

And it has emerged that those who have suffered will get no compensation.

The Evening News said: “There must be a rethink on this – it is the least the public can expect.

“In this modern age, the fact that so many people, some of them elderly and many of whom have young children, still have to cope with such circumstances is unacceptable.”

Reporter Emiko Priest quizzed the power chief on 24seven’s emergency plan, why the company’s telephone system failed – and how the service will be improved for the future.

Stories of misery and people battling on without heat or light were also carried last week, as well as an investigation into how the number of homes without power actually went UP during the week, rather than down.

The Essex Chronicle has also attacked 24seven – saying the firm had failed in its duty to adequately tackle basic public concerns.

Editor Stuart Rawlins said in the Comment column: “It is ironic what a misnomer the name of the electricity supplier 24seven has actually proved to be.

“The company has been unable to provide power to thousands of customers for days, let alone offering the 24-hour, seven days a week service its name suggests.

“If the county is to be hit by a repeat of these weather conditions, a strong possibility if weather experts are to be believed, then it is vital that 24seven ensures its customers receive the quality service they apparently pay for.”

  • Yesterday 24seven confirmed its repair work was complete, with any remaining problems due to storm damage that the company is unaware of.

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