Sorry We Killed Your Business. Here’s $200.


Con Ed has finally apologized to Queens residents who were affected by their hellacious ten-day blackout in the summer of 2006, reports the New York Times. To help make it up to them, the power company is giving residential customers served by its Long Island City network a $100 credit. Not sure where they got that figure — maybe they just went to the fridge and rounded off the combined price of the perishables.

In case you no longer have a Con Ed account but suffered through the blackout and still want your money, Con Ed has a claim form at their website with which you can apply for your $100 — or, if you were a commercial customer during that period, for either $200 or $350 “based on service classification.”

$200-$350 doesn’t sound like much — especially considering that some business owners lost enormous amounts of money because of the outage.

Con Ed had previously agreed to compensate affected businesses up to $7,000 — at that time, the maximum reimbursement allowed by state law for electrical failure (now the limit is $9,000). A few weeks later, Con Ed said they’d already paid out more than $4.2 million in related claims.

But as the Times reported in 2006, most of the owners they surveyed had greater losses. They mentioned a Cold Stone Creamery that “lost $12,000 in perishable items and needed repairs on $45,000 worth of equipment.” The July 27-30, 2003 Epoch Times told the tale of a mini-mart owner who predicted his losses from spoiled frozen and perishable foods would exceed $200,000.

Given all that, we’re not sure what this small, late gesture was meant to achieve. No one minds receiving unexpected money, though, and human nature suggests that changes in one’s public opinion numbers usually reflect whatever one has done for them lately.