MEMPHIS, Tenn.– If you’ve had trouble getting through to Memphis Light, Gas and Water, you’re not alone.
Erserline Blanks said she usually stays on top of her bills but it got tough with the hot streak this summer. The army veteran fell behind and got a cut-off notice from MLGW.
Blanks is on oxygen. She knew she needed electricity. She went to MLGW’s Millington service office where an agent told her how much she needed to pay to get her power restored. Her nephew lent her the money and she made a payment Friday.
“I thought at least by 1 o’clock my power would be back on. Nothing,” Blanks said.
She tried calling MLGW but no one answered.
“All you get is the recording saying we appreciate your call, all circuits are busy. We don’t have enough staff or something,” Blanks said.
MLGW officials later told us she missed the minimum amount to get her power restored by “a few cents.”
She spent all weekend without lights until she called the WREG Problem Solvers. She also made another payment on Monday. When we inquired about her case this week, officials said “there was an error that prevented the system from generating a connect order” on Monday after the second payment was made.
They sent someone out Tuesday to restore her services.
“Oh man, it’s a relief. It’s a relief,” Blanks said. “I am really grateful to WREG because I don’t like getting a bad attitude.”
But Blanks is not alone in having challenges reaching the utility company.
“We are experiencing an extremely high call volume and are short staffed. Our Customer Care Center is staying open until 7 p.m.,” MLGW officials said in a statement to WREG.
They also said they’re reopening four customer service locations that have been closed for more than two years. Those locations include Downtown, Lamar Avenue, Whitehaven, and Millington.
“We need to talk to somebody. If you can’t get through on the phone why not have somebody there you can talk to?” Blanks said.
Blanks questioned why MLGW waited so long to reopen the locations.
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