Nashville Electric Service (NES) Spends Money on Custom Signage to BAN Pokemon Go ‘Activities’ for Customers While On Public Utility’s Property. [UPDATED]

Don’t open the app on your phone, allow your kids to have the trading cards, or even talk about Pokemon go while at NES! All these related activities are supposedly ‘PROHIBITED’!

**UPDATE BELOW, in a response NES states they “had customers entering the lobby appearing to be taking pictures of employees as a “Jewell” for the game” – showing just how out of touch they are with something they created a policy against. In no world would anyone be taking a photo of a NES employee for any portion of the game – that isn’t how this works. See their full reply at bottom of story.

Nashville Electric Services (NES) believes it can control what you are doing on your phone while waiting in line to pay your bill, or waiting in line to set up service, or to speak with a customer service person – all activities which can regularly take up to an hour of sitting and waiting at their Church St headquarters in downtown Nashville. The following sign has been placed at the customer entrance, of their main public building, on Church Street:

nes no pokemon twin sign

Money has been spent on this signage, while WKRN is reporting this week that NES bills have more than doubled for some customers this month. There is no official policy by NES which prohibits this in their by-laws or policies, we assume this is an over-zealous reach by some middle-manager with the ability to spend NES money on frivolous items and make rules that don’t exist. In fact there is no way to know what will happen as a consequence of doing any Pokemon related activity – will they ask you to leave, prevent you from waiting in line to pay a bill or talk to someone, will they escort you out via armed guard? Will they charge you with trespassing? This sudo-government agency can’t do any of those things, in fact – they are just trying to strong-arm the public and their customers (which you MUST be their customer if you  live in Nashville – there are no other electic providers, and you aren’t allowed to not have their service withing the Metro Area – so the argument to vote with your money is invalid here – consumers have zero choice in this case.

No private company, much less one which provides a utility service to the public under the governance of the city government, has any right to know what you are doing on your phone on their premises. If you are pulled over by a police officer, you don’t even have to tell him what you’re doing on your phone – he has no right to know without a warrant and probably cause – so why does a private/semi-government agency think they can control what you do on your phone while in their building or parking lot? Do they believe they could prevent you from sending a text to someone, or looking up your bill info online? Short of installing a cellular disruptor, which has legal issues in itself, they have no right or power to stop you from playing Pokemon on your phone while on their Property. The sign also doesn’t specifically limit the activity to phone – the way it’s worded it could be Pokemon card game, or trading, or even TALKING about the game while on the property, waiting in the notorious long lines, etc.

Let’s assume they are only targeting smartphones and the PokemonGo App. They have no way to know or control what you’re doing on your own personal smartphone and own personal data package, no more than they can prevent you from texting someone while waiting. The sign is a clear indication of an intent to violate rights against personal searches – which is the only way they could know what you are doing on your phone, is to walk up and ask you, or ask to see your phone, or something similar. They can’t do that no more than the police can, not without a warrant allowing them to know what activities you are doing on your own phone, your personal property.

With the sudden increase of everyone’s electric bills this month, NES has chosen to spend money on having signs professionally ordered, custom made and cut, delivered, and installed at it’s Church Street Offices. We think this money could have been spent better elsewhere, amid the current price increases, some by more than double, for it’s customers.

NES, we think the ‘Power of Greater Nashville’ has went to your head.

**UPDATE**

NES has proven once again, they just don’t “get it” when it comes to Pokemon. They have responded with typical PR style, showing their ignorance on the subject matter, and just how out of touch they are with a topic they’re addressing. Here’s their response, to which we can only add there are no ‘Jewell’s’ in the game, and no one was taking photos of their employees.

We had customers entering the lobby appearing to be taking pictures of employees as a “Jewell” for the game. This created a privacy concern and was disruptive to other customers conducting business.

Due to the popularity of Pokémon GO, utilities across the country have warned players to be aware of their surroundings and stay away from substations, transformers and other electrical equipment. In addition to our electrical infrastructure, the NES Customer Lobby is a resource for customers paying their bills, signing up for service and requesting assistance. We want to ensure our customers have the ability to easily access our lobby without additional traffic from Pokémon gamers. The cost for the sign was $9 and the purpose is to discourage players from entering the lobby if they are not on-site to conduct NES-related business.

holden response

nes sign

pokemone official sign paid nes power

At time of publication, no inquiries to NES or Metro Government had been replied to. If you are empowered to give a response and are affiliated with either, please contact tips@eastnashville.news or call our news hotline at 615-669-TIPS.

1 Comment

  1. Nunya

    Good. First one of you morons to hurt yourselves on their property while playing this dumbass game will probably sue them. Plus you’re in the damn way. That’s why. The end.

    Reply

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