CSU’s new hotline will mean no more busy signals

2013 Hotline Sticker-2Unfortunately, power and water outages happen. When they do, it’s important for College Station Utilities customers to let us know promptly. If you simply assume your neighbor has already reported it, service restoration may be delayed. Your timely report also helps us determine the size of the outage.

Of course, you may be one of the many customers who have tried to call our emergency number but received nothing but a busy signal — if you weren’t dropped completely. When your lights are out, it can be a highly frustrating experience. Thankfully, those days will soon be history.

Starting March 1, reporting electric, water, streetlight or sewer issues will become easier and more efficient when we implement our new hotline. The old system accepts only 14 calls at once, but the new system handles an unlimited amount. The new number will be 1-855-528-4278 (or 4CSU) .

The new system will prompt you to enter your account number to automatically identify your location, which enables us to dispatch crews quicker and manage the situation better. The new process will also capture data for all outages, not just major ones, which allows for more proactive repairs, replacements and upgrades.

Do we really need it?

In 2001, CSU began using an automated troubleshooting and reporting system to handle the large number of calls during an outage. Dispatch operators had to manually turn on the system, which resulted in missed calls and consumed valuable time in critical situations. Adding to the frustration was the fact that system upgrades were incompatible with the city’s advanced telephone system.

As a result, CSU began investigating ways to upgrade the system to improve customer service, troubleshooting, and provide more accurate outage information and data.

The new system will always be activated, so missed calls won’t be a problem. The new system will also have voice recognition capability, allowing you to speak your account number instead of entering it numerically. After you enter your account number, your address will be read back for verification.

For billing questions or changes to your account, you can still call Utility Customer Service at 979-764-3535 during normal business hours. You can also go online to make payments, enroll in paperless billing or connect/disconnect services.

Ultimately, better customer service benefits all of us, and we want to hear from you after our new system goes live March 1.

Carol Roach
 
Carol Roach
Utilities Administration Manager | College Station Utilities
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