Sunday, December 27, 2009

Computer Glitch Takes Down SRP Customers

I wasn't aware of it but SRP offers their electric customers the option of a prepaid plan. It is called M-Power and uses a plug in display module in the home and cards that can be reloaded with credit at card kiosks (ATM like systems) throughout the area. You will never get an electric bill again. The display unit also tells you how much credit is left on your card so that you can monitor and adjust your energy usage.

Sounds great. SRP has about 93,000 customers on the plan, about 10% of their base.

Then the software glitch showed up which apparently took down their network of card kiosks. It started on Saturday and is an ongoing problem.

SRP is encouraging people enrolled in its pre-paid M-Power program to contact its customer service number for a special code to restore their power, after a computer glitch Saturday morning caused a system wide outage for many users around the Valley.

A final note on customer service. When you screw up and hurt your customer, compensate them somehow. Don't add insult to injury by saying:

Once the number is entered power will be restored until the problem can be fixed. The electricity will not be free, however, as the normal usage rates will apply.

Also note that the SRP web site makes no mention of the problem or resolution. Bad PR, really bad PR. But somehow typical of a monopoly.

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