MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man says it took three days of constant calling to get someone with MLGW on the line to get the power turned on at one of his rental properties.
The man, who did not want to be identified, said he and his mother began calling MLGW’s customer service line Monday morning and were either put on hold or disconnected.
“I bet we’ve called at least twice an hour,” said the property owner. “Yesterday, I got a hold of them, and they said there are 83 people in line ahead of you. Then they went on to their music and came back a minute later and said there are 203 people in front of you, and then about 15 -20 minutes later, they just hung me up.”
We tried calling the MLGW customer line Wednesday and twice were told, “due to extreme high call volume, all agents were busy, and we can’t answer your call right now.”
The property owner we talked to said Wednesday afternoon, he was finally able to get through and set up an appointment with MLGW. But he said it had been a frustrating few days.
“As tight as money is nowadays with everything we’ve gone through and then to be held up by something as stupid as a utility company,” the man said. “I called the mayor’s office, and the mayor’s office said, ‘Well, we’ve got a lot of calls on it, but there is nothing we can do because they are a separate entity.'”
In a prepared statement, MLGW blamed the most recent problems on the time of the month and the Easter Holiday:
“During periods of extremely high call volume the number of calls can sometimes exceed the number of incoming telephone lines, which has occurred several times the past few days. Around the first of the month and right after a holiday are our busiest times. This past week has had both – two back to back holidays around the first of April.”MLGW statement
Last month, another customer told WREG she was having trouble setting up a payment plan with MLGW because she couldn’t get anyone on the phone. When we called, we got a recording that said all lines were busy.
MLGW says several types of requests can be handled online:
- 1. Request payment arrangements through My Account at mlgw.com (If you are not registered for My Account, it is fast and easy, MLGW says. You’ll need a recent MLGW bill to enter your 16-digit account number and six-digit My Account Access Code found in the blue column on the front page of your bill.)
- 2. View bills, pay bills and verify whether a payment has posted through My Account.
- 3. Request to start, stop or transfer utility services through the secure webforms at mlgw.com (Select Residential or Commercial, then select Request Service.)
Drop boxes are available at all MLGW locations. Community offices are closed to walk-in traffic. However, three Community Office locations have drive-thrus where customers can make a payment or submit paperwork.
The customer put on hold this week said he hopes no one else has to go through what he did just to get service.
“I think about all the elderly people, you know, that are stuck. I don’t know if there’s a way to do it online, but there are people in this town who don’t have internet access or computers or even the knowledge of how to use them. For them to just be stuck on this line and just be calling all day long. It’s frustrating.”
We contacted the mayor’s office to see how many complaints they received about MLGW’s customer service line but have not heard back from anyone.