News10NBC Investigates: RG&E hires new VP of Customer Service, promises work is on-going

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The CEO and new Vice President of Customer Service at RG&E/NYSEG are promising more progress in their efforts to turn things around for customers who have been dealing with billing and communication issues for nearly two years.   

Many of you have been through a customer service storm with RG&E/NYSEG. News10NBC has covered the stories of dozens of customer who’ve been wrongly billed and threatened with shutoffs. 

The CEO of the utilities has told News10NBC she’s working to hire and train more employee and address problems and that work continues.

“It will take us some time to continue to move forward, we send out more than a million bills per month, so they’re going to be issues and we encourage our customers when that happens,” says Trish Nilsen. 

About 80-90% of calls to RG&E/NYSEG’s customer service lines are now answered within 30 seconds according to Nilsen, but as many customers have experienced, that doesn’t necessarily mean the person on the other end of the line can actually solve the problem. 

Jennifer Lewke: “You’ve got the people, but now you’re still sort of training them on how to fix things, is that fair to say?”

Trish Nilsen: “As you remember, 60% of our workers in our call center have been with us for a year or less, so there is a training time period that we need to get them through. If customers have problems and they’re not getting the answers they need, ask to speak to our supervisory group, ask to speak to our experts, send a message to me.”

Or, there’s Christine Alexander, the new Vice President of Customer Service for RG&E and NYSEG. 

Jennifer Lewke: “I imagine you did a google search before you took the job and you dove into this, knowing that?”

Christine Alexander: “I did, right and I think for me… I’ve been in the industry about 20 years and I’ve worked for companies that have sort of had great highs and great lows. Yes, we had some challenges and I think you acknowledged that, but where we are today, we do have escalation paths within the call center.” 

And those paths, Alexander says, eventually all lead back to her.   

Christine Alexander: “We may not resolve it on that first call but we will circle back and that’s where we are today.  I know that it’s been an interesting experience for many, we have done a lot and we will continue to do a lot to improve the customer experience.”