3:44pm

Wed September 14, 2011
Business and the Economy

Customer Service Audit Finds KU, LG&E Lacking

An independent review ordered by the Public Service Commission has found Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas and Electric’s customer service falling short of what is expected. The report was released today.  The review found that satisfaction with the utility’s customer service has steadily declined since 2008, and that call centers around the state aren’t meeting internal goals for answering calls quickly.

PSC Spokesman Andrew Melnykovych says there aren’t actual numeric standards the companies have to meet in terms of customer service, but:

“It’s a standard in the sense that utilities under Kentucky law are required to provide an adequate level of service and that includes things such as addressing customer complaints in a timely fashion and so forth,” he said.

The independent audit company will work with the utilities to develop an action plan. LG&E spokesman Chip Keeling says his company has faced several stressful events over the past few years that may have impacted customer service and call volume, like major storms and a rate case. He says another factor might have been relying too much on new technology. “I think we were expecting our investment, and we did make significant investments in technology, would be picked up by our customers and they didn’t subscribe to the technology that we were driving as quickly as we thought they might,” he said.

But the audit mentions significant problems with the technology on LG&E’s end, like computer systems that are difficult for call center workers to use and computer malfunctions with meter reading and discontinuing accounts.

Keeling says the company will follow through with the report’s suggestions to improve customer service.