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MLGW News Release
 
MLGW promises enhancements following J.D. Power survey results
August 1, 2007
MLGW today addressed the results of the 2007 J.D. Power & Associates Electric Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Survey, which ranked MLGW last among medium-sized utilities. Recognizing that many customers are unhappy with the recent events surrounding the utility, MLGW is implementing a comprehensive strategy aimed at addressing the six areas of focus of the J.D. Power survey. The six areas are power and reliability, image, price, communication, billing and payment, and customer services.

“We are disappointed by these results and we realize that MLGW needs to improve its image with our customers,” said Jerry Collins, Interim Chief Utility Officer. “Any time our customers express concerns or say that we aren’t meeting their expectations, we need to listen and act.”

The utility is forming a team to review, assess and make improvements in all six areas. MLGW will also review recommendations from the J.D. Power survey and will benchmark other utilities in an effort to address its public image.

“We know this will not happen overnight, but we are committed to achieving long-term benefits for our customers,” said Rick Masson, MLGW’s Board Chairman and Acting President and CEO.

MLGW is working to improve its performance in each of these six areas.

1. Image
Policy Enhancements
  • MLGW has formed an audit committee that is reviewing MLGW policies and procedures and is implementing improvements.
  • In addition to the creation of an MLGW Customer Bill of Rights, improvements are being made to policies and procedures for billing disputes, cut-offs, employee access to customer accounts, collections, write-offs, and payment and assistance programs.

    Community Involvement
  • MLGW will continue to be a vital part of the Shelby County community, where utility employees donate more than $1 million per year in time and money to a variety of local organizations such as United Way, MIFA, Habitat for Humanity, Special Olympics, and the Memphis Food Bank.

    Customer Assistance Programs
  • MLGW will continue to provide customers with a variety of payment and assistance programs, including Plus-1, Project MAX, Gift of Comfort, On Track and more.

    2. Customer Service
  • MLGW has created a Customer Bill of Rights that details MLGW’s responsibilities to its customers and provides guiding principles for conducting business.
  • MLGW is making organizational changes that will allow a greater focus on the Customer Care Center, Metering, and other customer-service related functions.

    3. Power and Reliability
  • A new substation is being constructed in Collierville to meet utility needs of the growing population. It is expected to be complete in late 2007.
  • MLGW is continuing its “Customer Oriented Reliability” initiative, which is designed to reduce the frequency and duration of outage for residential customers experiencing the longest and most frequent service interruptions.
  • MLGW has begun extensive effort to strengthen the electrical feeds to facilities such as hospitals, water pumping stations, waste water treatment facilities, and media outlets.
  • MLGW is improving its crisis management procedures and capabilities in order to be able to respond quickly and effectively to disasters and large outages.

    4. Price
  • A recent survey showed that MLGW’s average residential utility bill ranked the sixth-lowest in the nation, and MLGW customers enjoy the nation’s lowest water rates, and the utility is continuing to work to control its operating costs.

    5. Communication
    Greater Transparency
  • MLGW is increasing its transparency, sharing more information with the public such as board meeting minutes, public records, survey results and other updates.

    Web Site Enhancements
  • MLGW is planning improvements to mlgw.com, including a new customer-friendly friendly home page, online bill presentment, and online bill history and analysis.

    Customer Feedback
    MLGW will gather as much customer feedback as possible through the following:
  • Customer surveys, focus groups, and public speaking appearances
  • MLGW’s Community Advisory Council, which is made up of community leaders who give feedback on MLGW programs and services
  • PSA’s and ads to promote assistance programs and other information

    6. Billing and Payment
    MLGW will be implementing new options for customer payments and locations, including:
  • Electronic bill presentment
  • Online bill analysis