pinchvalve SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2009 9:36 p.m.

Anyone ever have an issue with the utility company digging up their yard? The gas company, through a contractor, dug up the front edge of all the yards along my street to replace a gas line, and part of my yard along the house to move my gas meter. They came back a day later to add topsoil, grass seed, and mulch to all of the yards...except mine.

A week or two later, they came back and added topsoil and seed to the part along the street, but no straw mulch. Over the pas two weeks, the birds ate half the seed, the other half got wet and then dried out and is now useless. They came back today and threw down some mulch over the dead seed and despite driving all the way out to my neighborhood, they decided not to fix the rest of the damage to my lawn.

In late September when the other yards were done right, there was enough time for the seed to germinate and actually survive the winter. If they ever get to my yard, it will be late November and useless in the Northeast to plant grass. I have called and called, but they are not the least bit concerned or compassionate. Is it time to lawyer up, or do I start screaming about discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds to scare them into action?

EastCoastMojo SuperDork
Nov. 10, 2009 9:48 p.m.

I would contact the local paper or television news station and see if they have a consumer watchdog segment. Chances are a little coverage will get your yard the coverage it needs.
Good luck!

VanillaSky Reader
Nov. 10, 2009 10:12 p.m.

As long as there are no holes left, I wouldn't care. The grass will come back when spring comes. It is just grass.

Schmidlap Reader
Nov. 10, 2009 11:18 p.m.

Is the utility company city owned? If so, try talking to your local council member. If that doesn't work, try your State's Attorney General's office - they probably won't do anything on your behalf, but may be able to direct you to the agency that oversees utilities, or have someone higher up at the utility company you can talk to. (I'm not sure the Attorney General is the office I'm thinking of actually, but I can't think of the right name - do they investigate businesses that try to rip off people and stuff like that? Maybe it is the AG).

Bob

oldsaw HalfDork
Nov. 10, 2009 11:18 p.m.
VanillaSky wrote: As long as there are no holes left, I wouldn't care. The grass will come back when spring comes. It is just grass.

Apartment dweller?

Helterskelter Reader
Nov. 10, 2009 11:24 p.m.

I tend to agree with VanillaSky on this one. It is grass, and it will come back (no I am not an apartment dweller). If it sincerely bothers you, pick up a couple pieces of sod, it's cheap. Also, as far as I know, most cities own the first 10' or so of your yard, for this very reason.

Appleseed Dork
Nov. 10, 2009 11:40 p.m.

After not getting your satisfaction, find yards of offenders, from supervisor on down. Commence donuts in lawn with favorite vehicle. Repeat as necessary.

sobe_death New Reader
Nov. 11, 2009 2:20 a.m.

In reply to Appleseed:

+1

924guy Dork
Nov. 11, 2009 3:07 a.m.

id be ticked off too, at least if there was enough damage to warrant it , but

screaming about discrimination on ethnic or religious grounds to scare them into action?
is sorta like parking in a handicap space when your not disabled, nasty thing to do.

.... I might take a bunch of pictures of the damaged area vs the same work done on the neighbors property, label them neatly and email them to the utility, and the town dept that over sees them, and work my way up the political tree from there. Town council, Mayor..at some point someone will decide its a better idea to throw some sod down rather then deal with you anymore... just have to be a pain in the arse to them, but not too much...

Gearheadotaku Reader
Nov. 11, 2009 7:14 a.m.

" We're the gas company, the only gas company. So berkely you."

You could threaten to not pay your bill, or go with electric heat.

minimac Dork
Nov. 11, 2009 7:28 a.m.

They did a similar act to my dads lawn. All it took was a phone call to the guy in charge at the gas company. The contractor was out the next day to remedy the situation. Sometimes you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

iceracer HalfDork
Nov. 11, 2009 9:27 a.m.
Helterskelter wrote: I tend to agree with VanillaSky on this one. It is grass, and it will come back (no I am not an apartment dweller). If it sincerely bothers you, pick up a couple pieces of sod, it's cheap. Also, as far as I know, most cities own the first 10' or so of your yard, for this very reason.

I agree. The cities right of way is much wider than the street. If there is a sidewalk, the terrace is city property as well as the sidewalk.

pinchvalve SuperDork
Nov. 11, 2009 10:05 a.m.

The edge of the property by the street has been repaired, very poorly but at least repaired. The issue is that I am the only house on the block that had additional work done against the house, and a large part of my front yard was dug up and then left as is. I can't just let it grow back because last summer I had a ton of dirt dumped there, mostly clay, to re-slope the yard away from the house. I then paid to have topsoil added so that I could plant grass. It was just starting to look good, but now it is all dug up and what is exposed is all clay and nothing will grow. They added topsoil to the other dig sites, why not my front yard? I also notice that they yards that were done right are well-established now, and will look good in spring. Mine is just dirt, and it is too late in the season to start planting grass. I missed the last month of great weather!

The discrimination comment was just a rant, I would never play a race card or religion card! (mostly because it is despicable, but also because I am not a member of any minority or religion. People really do have to face that BS all the time and its bad enough already!)

oldsaw HalfDork
Nov. 11, 2009 11:23 a.m.
pinchvalve wrote: The edge of the property by the street has been repaired, very poorly but at least repaired. The issue is that I am the only house on the block that had additional work done against the house, and a large part of my front yard was dug up and then left as is. I can't just let it grow back because last summer I had a ton of dirt dumped there, mostly clay, to re-slope the yard away from the house. I then paid to have topsoil added so that I could plant grass. It was just starting to look good, but now it is all dug up and what is exposed is all clay and nothing will grow. They added topsoil to the other dig sites, why not my front yard? I also notice that they yards that were done right are well-established now, and will look good in spring. Mine is just dirt, and it is too late in the season to start planting grass. I missed the last month of great weather!

924guy is on the right track

Document (with photos) the difference in repairs done to your property and that of your neighbors. Have prints made.

Compose a letter further explaining the problems caused by the shoddy work performed by the crew. Emphasize that the necessary and proper repairs cannont be properly completed this year. Respectfully request that a representative of the company contact you directly for resolution.

Send copies of the letter by certified mail to the the head of the utility company and any other executuve vice president whose responsibilities cover contractors' activities and even public relations.

If the utility company responds favorably, request/demand all promises be committed to paper and provided direclty to you.

Be prepared to approach the media; there's always someone who likes to cover the "little guy vs. big corporation" stories.

Always be respectful in your contacts with the company, but be prepared for a response that will not satisfy your expectations. Don't threaten legal action until all other avenues are explored.

Good luck.

Trans_Maro HalfDork
Nov. 11, 2009 12:23 p.m.

You're asking this on a message board that is full of people who park cars on their lawn?

I don't care if I have grass or not, it's just a parking space.

Shawn

NGTD HalfDork
Nov. 11, 2009 8:47 p.m.

I used to work for a gas utility in Canada. If your local utility is like we were - Go up the ladder - call the president if you have to. Make a fuss, they will back to fix it with sod, if needed.

We also had a regulator - Ontario Energy Board. I don't think the US has many regulatory bodies, but that is another path.

Wally SuperDork
Nov. 12, 2009 12:47 a.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: " We're the gas company, the only gas company. So berkely you." You could threaten to not pay your bill, or go with electric heat.

An oldie but goodie http://www.hulu.com/watch/4163/saturday-night-live-ernestine

z31maniac
z31maniac Dork
Nov. 12, 2009 7:58 a.m.
Trans_Maro wrote: You're asking this on a message board that is full of people who park cars on their lawn? I don't care if I have grass or not, it's just a parking space. Shawn

Philistine.

I hate people who Berkeley up the neighborhood. Nothing I love seeing more than driving home around torn up/unkempt yards, just makes the whole neighborhood feel scuzzy.

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

Come to the Solo Nationals Talent Show

15 hours ago in News

We're bringing back the talent show at SCCA Solo Nationals with "Tacos and Talent."

Learn How to Attack Tracks Like a Pro

1 day ago in News

Mazdaspeed wants to teach you how to drive the best tracks in North America Like a pro.

Join Us at Watkins Glen and Lime Rock

2 days ago in News

We'll be traveling north for a couple vintage events over the coming weeks. Come say hello.

Last Week for our Classic Motorsports Half-Price Deal

2 days ago in News

August is drawing to a close, and so is our discount offer for our sister magazine.

Fearing the Focus

2 days ago in Project Cars

Our new (used) Focus breaks.

Vintage Views: Mazda 323 GTX

3 days ago in Articles

Before we had the Subaru WRX STI and Lancer Evo, we had another rally-bred special, the Mazda 323 GTX.

New Generation Miata Unveiling

6 days ago in News

Are you as excited as we are? We'll be there in person, sharing it with you.

OUR SPONSORS

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More