The delivery stops, customer changes and price adjustments are pushing customer service to the limits of its capacity at some municipal utilities and energy suppliers.
In January alone, EWV Energie- und Wasserversorgung GmbH in Stolberg near Aachen received more than 25,000 customer calls and over 11,000 customer emails. For comparison: in 2021 there were 8,500 calls and 1,300 emails in the same period.
We are really working with man and mouse and with all the strength we have. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent longer waiting times,” EWV Managing Director Manfred Schröder asks the customers for their understanding.
Flood catastrophe creates further uncertainty
“In ‘normal business’, EWV has very high demands on their customer service. For example, a fixed waiting time for telephone calls or the time it takes to answer e-mails. “Unfortunately, we are very far from normal business at the moment.”
In addition to the uncertainty caused by the energy crisis, the consequences of the flood catastrophe also caused numerous inquiries. This is, for example, about increased electricity consumption in the course of drying or missing meter readings or even meters. “These requests cannot be processed according to a formula. We want and need to take the time to solve these problems individually,” says Manfred Schröder.
Another point is that the ERA is currently not using meter readers and field workers to protect against Corona. This also increases the number of inquiries by e-mail and telephone.
NEW also saw an enormous rush of customers
The customer service of Mönchengladbach-based NEW Energie is currently still seeing an enormous volume of inquiries from new customers who have been provided with replacements, the telephone channel broke down at times and e-mails could not be answered promptly. The NEW and other municipal utilities had therefore brought together employees from all areas of the company to cope with the workload. (hoe)