Friday, June 24, 2011

Customer Service Speed

What industries do you think of when you think of lethargic, slow, and inefficient processes and less than adequate customer service?  Government, Utilities, Legal System, Healthcare, Education  -  do you see a trend?  Regulation, Paperwork, Redundancy, Monopoly, Large, Hugh Customer Base, Slow to Change, .... the list goes on. 

Today I thought I had gotten the benefit of deregulation in Utilities.  After careful analysis, I determined I should switch my electric supplier from Duke Retail Energy to the Community aggregator Dominion Energy Solutions.  I determined the best time to do this was the months of June, July, Aug, and Sept. when Duke's rate increased for summer airconditioning.  So on May 25th (two days after my May meter read), I called to switch.  Unfortunately I forgot the rule above - that Utilities have inefficient processes. 

Now I discovered (too late after I got my June bill) it takes one to two billing cycles to make the switch.  The oppportunity cost of not calling 3 days earlier is $118.  UGH!!

In today's technology with instant updates and electronic financial transactions, it is ridiculous to hear someone say it takes 30-60 days to switch an account.  Deregulation - YES;  Efficient Customer Service Speed - NO

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