Bill Capo / Action Reporter
NEW ORLEANS -- Writing a letter on a computer seems like such a simple task, but it has new significance for Donovan Stone, who has discovered how tough it is to live without electricity.
"I've learned that it is very important to stay warm, especially when it is cold outside. It is essential. You can't live without power."
Donovan's roommate passed away in September, and he said the power bill was forgotten during the stressful time. When Donovan said he realized the bill was past due, he tried to have the account changed from his room-mate's name to his and work out a payment plan, but said he ran into problems because he was not listed as a customer.
"They are like, 'We understand sir, but we can't extend you, we can't help you. You are scheduled for disconnection. If that happens, you'll have to... ' They just weren't very understanding, whatsoever." And when the lights went out last week, so did the heat during some of the coldest days of the winter, and when Donovan got desperate, he called the Action Line.
"It was pitch black, it was freezing cold. I went and bought those tall candles, but that didn't really light it very well, and it was just a very dark, and dreary, and dismal existence."
Donovan's call reached the Action Line at four o'clock last Friday afternoon. Within minutes, I was in touch with Entergy, but at that point, I didn't know how many people were still on duty to handle this problem, because it was the start of a holiday weekend. However, they went right to work. They were in touch with Donovan so fast he was stunned.
"Before dark fell completely that night, it was on."
Entergy spokeswomen said the company is committed to working with customers to provide timely answers and solutions. Donovan says things have all been worked out now.
"It's like night and day, no pun intended. So I'm much happier, I don't feel as depressed. It makes a world of difference. Now I can move on, I can focus, get a job, all those other things, so I'm very, very grateful to you and Entergy."