I thought ComEd customers should be aware of ComEd’s tree trimming policy. It appears to be something quite different than I have previously experienced.

About four weeks ago my son, who owns an apartment building in Riverside, was contacted by ComEd telling him they were going to trim a tree in the back of the parking area. He did not ask them to do the trimming – they chose to do the trimming.

Two weeks later when I returned from vacation and went over by the building to cut the grass, I was surprised to see a large pile of tree limbs (4 feet. high, 5 feet wide and 10 feet long) stacked up in back laying over the deck and part of a parking spot. 

The BBQ grill had been moved off the deck and was out in the middle of the partially blocked parking space. There was chainsaw debris and larger limbs laying on and in back of the deck. It was quite a mess.

I called my son and he explained ComEd had told him they were going to trim a tree in back. So, this was the results of their trimming. I had seen ComEd tree trimming before and they cleaned up their mess when done. Being a former ComEd district manager (now retired), I figured they just forgot to finish the job.

I contacted the village of Riverside, since I thought they would have a little more sway with ComEd than just an old retired guy.

About a week later I was back at the building and the mess was still there. I called ComEd myself and the customer service rep listened to my concern and then informed me that ComEd is not responsible for cleaning up and debris from their tree trimming work. It was the customer’s responsibility to clean up ComEd’s mess. 

I was dumbfounded. I asked to talk to a supervisor who was very, very polite and in between an innumerable number of “I’m very sorry” statements, she confirmed it – it is the customer’s responsibility to clean up ComEd’s mess. I was now dog dumbfounded.

In the meantime, the village had called the ComEd external affairs representative on my behalf. The rep had called me on the issue. I called him back and explained the situation. He stated he was a new employee and would do some research. 

He called me back a day later and, to my amazement, confirmed that when ComEd trims a tree on your property, it is now the customer’s responsibility to clean up their mess, no matter how big it is. Now, I was double dog dumbfounded.

I thanked him for his effort, noted that the policy was absurd and in this case it will require about a half day work to cut all the limbs up and bundle them for Riverside pickup. I told him in some cases customers may have to hire someone to do this work. He was also very, very sorry.

So fellow ComEd customers – heads up that when ComEd trims you trees, your wallet or free time will be pruned as well.

Ed Mantel