10 On Your Side gets elderly couple’s light turned back on

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — No one wants to be left in the dark.

It can be dangerous, and that’s what propelled a Virginia Beach woman to call 10 On Your Side. She reached out on behalf of her 91-year-old parents, who have been trying for nearly three months to get Dominion Virginia Power to fix the light in their backyard.

The couple had a light pole put in their backyard back in 1976 for home security. They pay for the power to it every month.

“It went out the second day of January and its been out ever since,” Bill Barth told WAVY.com.

Barth said if the light pole wasn’t so high, he’d just grab a ladder.

“I like to do things myself,” he said. “I know they get done then.”

His daughter says that’s not a good idea, though. Bill and his wife have both fallen in the past. She even broke her hip. That’s why their daughter reached out to 10 On Your Side.

“I never would have thought to do that,” Bill’s wife Elaine said. “Leave it to my daughter over there.”

Sometimes it’s dark before Bill gets the trash cans to the curb and Elaine said there’s been some crime in the neighborhood, so they need that light.

Between Bill and his daughter, there were five calls to Dominion about the light. They say the company made promises and delivered nothing — except a bill that adds $12.45 each month for the mercury vapor lamp.

WAVY News contacted Dominion Power and within two hours, a crew arrived with a small bucket truck. It took three minutes to fix what the Barths have been calling on for three months.

A Dominion Power spokesperson told 10 On Your Side, “While it’s no excuse, the problem is a result of some miscommunication between Dominion and our contractors and we are working to rectify that situation.” They also promised to reimburse the family.

You can read the full response from Dominion below.

We apologize for the inconvenience it created for the couple. Their safety and well-being is important to us. I’m glad we were able to go out there and fix it today. We’ll also be reaching out to them directly to apologize and reimburse them for the charges billed to their account while the light was out.

This is an unusual case. Dominion is usually very responsive to these calls because we understand how important it is to have safe, well lit spaces.

While it’s no excuse, the problem is a result of some miscommunication between Dominion and our contractors and we are working to rectify that situation.”