News : Louisville Water Puts its Customers On Hold
Louisville, KY, USA, June 15, 2015 -- The Louisville Water Co. is leaving a trail of tears on Twitter from customers complaining about the city-owned utility's rough transition to a new billing system. Some people are saying they are being over billed. Others are upset about how long they are spending on hold when trying to call for help.
When they can't get through to the company's call center, they are doing what a lot of people do now when any company's customer service falls short -- they are Tweeting out their complaints in the digital town square. The company's communications team is monitoring social media, and responding to the feedback.
Dave Vogel, vice president of customer service, writes in a memo to the company's board, which meets tomorrow, that "we are continuing our work stabilizing the system and addressing customer service challenges." He notes that "we may be seeing some signs of the call volumes moderating, but they continue to be above our capacity to handle them effectively.
He outlined a number of steps being taken to address the issues, including hiring 12 additional temporary employees since last month.
I've asked company officials details about call volumes, hold times, frequency of billing mistakes that can be blamed on the new billing system, which they believe will be an overall gain for customers and the company. Stay tuned for that, and feel free to write me with your stories.
Meanwhile, Twitter and presumably other social media are providing a venue for customers to vent, in public. It's not unlike what I've done when United Airlines lost my baggage last summer on a short trip to San Francisco.
When the company rolled out the new 10-digit account numbers for its OASIS project in March, officials predicted glitches and wrinkles, and I wrote about that, here, including important things for customers to know during the transition. They are saying it will take up to six months to "stabilize" the system.
The water company handles billing for the Metropolitan Sewer District, too, and MSD officials have noted that "there continues to be a significant number of customer related issues requiring individual attention," and that the volume of calls has exceeded 3,000 per day.
But the Twitter comments aren't all critical. Here's someone who moved out of Louisville, and then back, and wanted the company, which provides drinking water regionally to more than 850,000 people, to know he was glad to be drinking the company's water again.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - Continuous Improvement
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About Louisville Water Co:
Louisville Water Company is a municipal water company which provides water to the more than 800,000 people in Louisville, Kentucky as well as parts of Oldham and Bullitt counties.
Published: Tuesday, June 16, 2015