Fields: Is FPL In The Protection Racket?




Florida Power and Light’s latest money making scheme seems like it was inspired from a 1930’s gangster flick where local businessmen were “encouraged” to make “protection payments” to prevent something bad from happening. Of course they were the folks who would make the bad things happen.

I thought about that when I opened my mail this week only to discover that FPL, sounding like Don Corleone, was “making me an offer I just couldn’t refuse”.

For $9.95 a month they will insure my fridge, dishwasher, stove, AC and water heater if a power surge of their electricity comes through their line and their meter and destroys my appliances.

The company goes on to say that they will install a product called “SurgeShield” in my electrical meter (A $75 value for free) if I agree to pay them a $9.95 a month.

“That’s a very lovely and expensive window in the front of your store.  I would hate to see something bad happen to it.”

I don’t know what they think they are saying, but the above is what I am hearing.  They have put a dangerous product (electricity) in my house.  But for $9.95 a month “bad things just might not happen”.

In other words, I will be paying them to protect me from them!

[By the way, the $9.95 (plus tax) does not cover the house, televisions, computers or any other equipment.]

What next? “This plane is perfectly safe.  But on the off chance that something might go wrong a seat-belt will be available…for an extra $9.95”.

Whether it’s the billions we will now have to pay to cover the unnecessary expansion of the Turkey Point and St Lucie nuclear facilities or their “green energy” program—which turned out to be nothing more than a customer financed P.R. campaign—FPL always has some sleazy little plan to nail us for extra nickels and dimes.  This is their latest gambit and it borders on a grift.

If there really is a safety issue, for which they have the solution, it should be made part of the normally installed equipment and not available only for customers willing to pay extra!

7 Responses to “Fields: Is FPL In The Protection Racket?”

  1. Lightning Does It says:

    Power surges are often caused by lightning. While it would be nice to have millions of lightning rods to prevent power surges, the cost is prohibitive. The only practical method is to defend your delicate electronic equipment with surge protectors or power conditioners.

    FPL’s product is a whole-house protection system – you can also buy local protection systems such as surge protectors, uninterruptable power supplies, and power conditioners. These local protectors plug into your wall and they protect only those devices that are plugged into the protector.

    Power surges are also caused by the starting and stopping of heavy equipment such as refrigerators and air conditioners. A local protection system will also defend against these “in-house” sources of power surge, whereas the FPL product only works against “outside” sources such as lightning.

  2. Becky Blackwood says:

    Mr. Fields:

    FPL doesn’t insure your appliances if lightning does come into your home and destroys your appliances. You are expected to use your homeowner’s insurance to pay to replace your appliances.

    I did have a problem with a lighting strike years ago. It came in through my security system, destroying it and even took out the motor of my jacuzzi tub.

    Now, what about the additional $7. per month FPL is negotiating with the State of Florida Public Service Commission even though they are make over an 11% profit and their CEO makes an annual salary of $14 million. This is for their construction of additional nuclear power plants but there is no guarantee they are even going to build them.
    Something like the FPL Care to Share which FPL never demonstrated it was used to help those individuals who had limited incomes.

  3. JAQUEBAUER says:

    Not all lightning strikes enter the home via the power lines. Cable TV, Satellite Antennas, Telephone/DSL, Amateur Radio Antennas are all avenues for lightning to enter and damage the home. After the home is burned to the ground-Try and collect on FPL’s policy. Oh- and if you happen to have ammunition stored in your home and the Firemen hear it popping off-prepare yourself -they will withdraw and let your home burn to the ground. FPL is responsible for creating surges and transients that can damage your electrical appliances when their circuit breakers operate. While they have surge arresters installed on their lines, these devices are not for your protection. Also, the cheap surge arresters for sale in Wall Mart and elsewhere usually fail the first time they encounter a surge or transient, and they will no longer work after that. Face it- we live in the lightning capital of the world, and how many people do you know have had damaged appliances of electrical equipment due to lightning.

  4. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    Personally… I use a bible for surge protection.

    After all, it’s God’s will right?

    Let’s see if JESUS-H-CHRIST-ON-A-CRUTCH-THAT-WAS-MY-BRAND-NEW-FUCKING-ESPRESSO-MACHINE wants to clambake his own written word.

  5. Surge Tech says:

    It’s untrue that surge protectors fail the first time they encounter a surge or transient. If that were the case, none of them would last for more than a week.

    They do come in various capacities. Look for a high number of Joules. This one has 3840 Joules of protection:

    Some of them also come with a light or other indicator that tells you when its ability to absorb surges has been exhausted.

    If you know you’ve been hit by a powerful lightning generated surge, it’s a good idea to replace all your surge protectors with new ones, even if they don’t yet indicate total exhaustion. Also, since small surges are very common and they add up over time, replace any surge protector that is more than 5 years old with a new one.

  6. Fields Should Live Somewhere Else says:

    I lived in Lake Worth that has a city system. the electric bills were one-third more than FPL and they didn’t give free surge protectors, either. FPL is good value compared to rest of the country who also don’t offer free surge protectors.

  7. SAM FIELDS says:

    Dear Lake Worth
    For some, criticizing FPL in Florida is like showing nudies of Mohammad in Pakistan.

    As an FPL shareholder I am in total agreement to silence these damn Bolsheviks like Fields

    As a customer of FPL…not so much.

    The basic problem with FPL, and for that matter all utilities, is that the essential business model is based on increasing demand rather than efficiency.

    [It’s sorta like the healthcare industry where illness is good for the bottom line…”Thar’s gold in them thar cancers.”]

    There are obvious ways for FPL to reduce demand but that’s not the way they think.

    Anyone who knows me knows that notwithstanding that my home has many more things that demand electricity than twenty years ago, I have cut my bill in half.

    At least a third of all the electricity used in this country is wasted. We could eliminate the need for additional capacity for the next half-century without impinging on our lifestyle. Net, net it would not cost a dime!