Couple without power says local hotels price gauged, lawmaker to investigate

After days of having no power, Omari Jackson walked inside his Roseville home Monday afternoon to find the lights are back on.

But being without power for several days came with a hefty price as Jackson and his wife turned to area hotels to find shelter.

"We looked on the website afterward, and we see that basically, we were charged double, for every night we were there, for a single room," he said.

That hotel was in Troy, and the couple then went to another hotel in Canton, which is closer to Jackson’s work.

"We went there, again more of the same, looking on Google afterward, we pretty much got charged double," he said.

Jackson says the hotel stays broke the bank.

"I estimated $1,200 to $1,300 range in total," he said.

"We’re going to come after the folks that took advantage of this opportunity," said State Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D). "I’ve been in communication with the attorney general’s office to see what we can do to protect those that were taken advantage of, at this vulnerable stage."

But Omari also lost many of his pet fish and food inside his refrigerator.

Aiyash and other lawmakers wants DTE Energy to pay up.

On Monday DTE announced an automatic $35 credit for qualified customers.

"We are going to be processing those credits proactively for customers who have been out of power greater than 96 hours - it’s a flat $35 that is the size of the credit," said DTE VP Ryan Stowe.

Some believe it’s time to Introduce legislation to protect Michiganders when the power goes out.

"I will be introducing legislation very soon that would give customers automatic credits for outages and reimbursements for food and medicine," Aiyash said,

Lawmakers also want to DTE to work on preventing widespread outages in the future.

"We only get to choose DTE or no energy - and oftentimes it’s DTE with no energy," Aiyash said. "And it is unacceptable."

Roseville resident Omari Jackson

Roseville resident Omari Jackson