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Austin Energy tackling rising number of customer complaints with smaller staff
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Data: 28/06/2017 09:50
Austin Energy tackling rising number of customer complaints with smaller staff
Austin Energy tackling rising number of customer grievances with smaller staff Austin tx(KXAN) After water usage and grouses spiked in 2015, Austin Energy which handles the City of Austin's Utility Customer Contact Center says it is working to help with how it handles customer service complaints. Nonetheless, KXAN discovered numbers indicate overall complaints to the utility's client care department via phone and emails are on track to top those from last year. Such, Following on from the utility reported 23,944 customers reached out with complaints involved in high water bills between Aug. 23, 2015 and january. 1, 2016.

In economy is shown, An impartial audit of Austin Water found water meter readings to be 98.85 percent adequate. Roughly 3.4 zero per cent of the meter reads(Approximately8,000 metres) In the audit wasn't able to be read Adam Humphries Jersey, Had a fuzzy photo, Or showed a discrepant visiting.

Barbara Lorimor, A senior who lives on Social prevention, Was one of the customers who were unsatisfied with a bill that showed her using 19,100 gallons related to water(Which is enough to fill an average pool area) Inside a month, Versus the 2,600 gallons in once period the year before. Lorimor says the city blamed anything from her irrigation system to a leak, Even though documents show the company she hired independent owners to check her sprinklers found nothing.

"I didn't know seven months later I was still will be fighting this one little thing, She described, Taking out a hefty box filled with files, Written notes, Pics, Documents of her page with the city, And printouts of her last nine many water usage. "It's often my fault. It's never the town's fault. They have yet to tell me what actually transpired to that 19,000 gallons most typically associated with water,

Alternatives the city's customer service, She excessive, "They're doing a really lacking, Ineffective job,

By using a open records request, KXAN was able to look for the scope of all complaints streaming into the utility's customer service center, Consisting of water and electric related issues. Grievances classified as either"Denials and arguments" Or it may be"Escalation" Made on the telephone, Exceeding doubled between 2013 and 2015, Right provided by 9,492 conditions to 23,417. In exact same time, Email reproaches also increased, Though not very much, During 5,089 if you want to actually 5,217. As of March of it year, The number of complaints made on the telephone were alreadyat 7,192.

While symptoms are up, Support service staffing numbers have dropped to their lowest in three years. Currently there are 140 employees in the careers center, When than the 162 in 2014.

"We haven't added people and we're a little bit behind adding resources for cellular phone customers that we have, Alleged Robert Cullick, Austin Energy's Director of calls.

The utility says while more temporary and contract personnel are helping to fill the gap, The city hasn't hired any new full time consumer support representatives since 2012. The utility company is considering adding 42 full time support services representatives for Fiscal Year 2017, Along with new technology that has been enhanced training. The goal is to reduce phone wait time to 90 seconds, A business standard. Now, The average wait time is four time.

Take a look at:City of Austin Utility customer service Audit

For you to address bigger customer complaints, Austin Energy has increased customer service network staffing to handle the calls filed under"Escalations family, Which handles complaints that really needs further research.

An audit of the Utility customer support department released in April, Revealed there's a"Lack of defined visions between the departments[Austin time and Austin Water]" And unclear roles in resolving water related careers issues.

"I think we need to rebuild trust and make sure that people know that we're doing everything possible make sure that every customer walks out satisfied, Cullick supposed.

It is advisable to note that survey numbers show 92 percent of customers reported satisfaction with their overall experience from December 2015 August 2015.

While Austin Energy has improved its time to address customer service network problems, The audit said the dept. still lacked"Defined expectations with Austin Water the the untimely resolution of water related issues,

Auditors recommended Austin Energy's customer service program management develop service level agreements(SLAs) With austin tx Water, And should align with a legal contract already in place with Austin Resource Recovery. Administrative agreed, And says the SLAs will address expectations for timely speaking, Among other components, For effective effort. Austin Energy says its SLAs will be succesfully done by March 31, 2017.

"I feel like I've given the city of Austin an interest free loan on my money because they don't want to handle their problems timely, Replied Tamel.

With no guarantee of having an attractive outcome, Tamel said he was originally discouraged from studying the formal appeals process when he noticed the high bills. "The system they've already in place is broken. It's not designed to deal with somebody wisely, He explained.

Austin texas City Councilmember Ellen Troxclair agrees, That is why she proposed a resolution, Which died May 19, To make it more convenient for customers to dispute their charges.

"It's a balanced exercise. You want make sure that you're not creating a system that is ripe for abuse and that people do pay for the services that they use, But at the same time providing really necessary client service for those times where abnormalities happen and you get a huge spike and neither the city nor the customer can really say if that water was used, Repeated Troxclair.

Troxclair says the change in policy was inspired in part by concerning feedback she received from constituents she sent to customer service throughout water bill spikes.

"I think it led to a change in council policy via my resolution to provide some relief to customers going forward and hopefully the audit will illuminate changes that can also be made within the customer service department to make sure that customers don't feel ignored or overlooked,

Austin Energy maintains the important reason for the high bills during late summer 2015 was extremely high customer water usage. The utility says the neighborhood pumped 5.2 million gallons of water to owners in August 2015, More than any time considering drought began in 2011. When your was metered and billed, It provided itself in bill spikes. Another factor to consider which Austin Energy has stood by all along is that higher conservation rates through the tier system charged those who used more water.

While Lorimore did receive a partial refund on her bill, She says she's still waiting answers and some respect Jameis Winston Jersey cheap.

"No one's once apologized to me. Nobody once has laughed and said where that water went, Suggested Lorimor. When asked what she wants now, She talked about, "I would expect it to say, 'we made a big befuddle.--,
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