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TrustPower’s Services Shines In Chaos

TrustPower’s Services Shines In Chaos

The violent storm that hit the Upper North Island on Monday night wrecked havoc on electricity supply service across wide areas. At times more than 100,000 homes and businesses were without electricity when they woke up on Tuesday morning.

TrustPower runs a 24 hours 7 days Call Centre to service its 230,000 customers across the country and just as well. “We had a big team of staff in throughout the night taking power fault calls and by mid day Tuesday over 3,000 calls had been personally answered with 3,000 more getting the information from our avalanche call system. We have managed to answer 80 % of those calls within 20 seconds.” says Community Relations Manager, Graeme Purches.

Not only has TrustPower taken thousands of calls from its own customers but also from consumers who have been unable to raise their own power company.

“We have helped out many consumers in the East Coast / Hawkes Bay region who have tried to no avail to phone Contact Energy, the power supplier to much of that area. In desperation, often in emergency situations with live power lines hanging, or family members who have respirators, or other critical live sustaining devices, they have called us and were relieved to actually talk to someone who was willing to help them, says Mr Purches.

Its about a year since TrustPower was put under intense customer service pressure to deal with major power supply outages. Mid winter last year a 20 year snow storm hit Central Otago with customers being without power in freezing conditions for up to four days.

We learnt a lot from that storm and put in place a full 24 hour operation and lots of back up system. We even had a power failure ourselves in our Call Centre last night during the storm but on site back up generation kicked in immediately with no calls being lost or service delays occurring.

“The most frustrating thing for us is that with widespread damage to power lines we cannot always get reliable restoration times from the local Network Companies. They own and repair the lines. Customers want to know when the power will be back on and unfortunately we are not always able to tell them.” says Mr Purches.

“Businesses with perishable goods and dairy farmers wanting to milk especially are hard hit when expected restoration times are unknown.

We are constantly in contact with the local networks companies to tell them of outages and are particularly appreciative of customers who phone with information that helps pin point the trouble spot.”

Mr Purches said “Without our 24 hour Call Centre operation we wouldn’t have been able to provide the support our customers need in these major storm situations and without talking to our customers we wouldn’t be able to get the information to get the power back on as quickly.”

GRAEME PURCHES
COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER
Contact: 025 763 368

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