College Station Utilities new billing system already FUBAR?

5,597 Views | 45 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by waterchick
91_Aggie
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AG
waterchick said:

I got a postcard in the mail, and a text. Also an email but it went to my spam folder.

The new system was also promoted on the city's social media plus it was picked up on (at least) WTAW.

However: if you don't have an email or phone number on file with CSU; if you don't have social media; if you don't watch/read/listen to the news (or it doesn't get picked up), it's difficult to get information to everyone impacted.

Edit to add: bills received today were generated on the previous system so perhaps that's why there was no mention of the new account number.


I got a postcard but it didn't have my new account number.
No email received even though they have my email address since I paid online all the time. (Not in my spam folder).
They probably don't have my cell number though.


Buuuuuuuut... I disagree with "it is difficult to get information to everyone impacted"

I listed the simplest possible methods for this:
1. Put the information in the paper bill that gets mailed to everyone that still gets it.

2. When signing up in the new system, the instructions clearly showed an image of the paper bill with the 12 digit number circled when it showed where to find the new 10 digit number.

Then I searched "contact us" for it and no phone number given on how to get the new number.

It is not the end of the world... just frustrating that there were simple and obvious ways to direct people to proper process.

Almost all mail/post cards are junk mail so separate post card is easily missed.

Not sure why I got no email.

But a website the user is already using to enroll is so easy to add proper instructions. You just add no cost text to the website.

Or hey, put that postcard you mailed in the freaking mailed bill.


Just found this on their instructions on Step #7:
[ol]
  • Enter Account Number: Input your new 10-digit account number. (You can find this on your latest bill or in a recent text from UCS.)
  • [/ol]
    Like I said in previous post, I just got my latest bill today Nowhere on it is a new 10-digit number... just the same 12-digit one I've always had.

    I have seeked and sought information out here. I went to website and followed their directions.
    I waited for bill to get my new number like instructions said.

    I don't think you can blame this on "it's difficult to get information to everyone impacted"
    I've sought it out using the tools where it should be available and where city said it would be available.

    So, now I'm stuck with wasting my time calling a phone number and waiting on hold to fix something that I shouldn't have to deal with as the customer.

    But since I don't have a choice of where to get my utilities from, I get to be the one to deal with a hassle because the vendor didn't do a good job and well, what do they care... it's not like I'm able to pick a vendor with better customer service.

    And yeah I spent more time complaining here than what the phone call will probably take.. but this much more fun than being on hold
    maroon barchetta
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    waterchick said:

    I got a postcard in the mail, and a text. Also an email but it went to my spam folder.

    The new system was also promoted on the city's social media plus it was picked up on (at least) WTAW.

    However: if you don't have an email or phone number on file with CSU; if you don't have social media; if you don't watch/read/listen to the news (or it doesn't get picked up), it's difficult to get information to everyone impacted.

    Edit to add: bills received today were generated on the previous system so perhaps that's why there was no mention of the new account number.


    The customer shouldn't have to go looking for info on social media for an important change like this.
    woodiewood
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    The email I received was sort of confusing to me.

    So if I am on autopay and the averaging program, do I have to go to the website and set both up again?

    waterchick
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    I was confused about that also. Answer is that yes, everyone needs to create a new account in order to be able to view usage, pay bill online, etc. You do not have to re-enroll in auto pay (I'm not on the budget billing so I can't answer that).

    I would think if you get a paper bill and write a check, and never go online, nothing changes other than you write the new account number in the memo line.
    dubi
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    AG
    The new COCS Utility portal is displaying this message:

    Quote:

    News
    -Howdy!!

    We are THRILLED about all of the interest we have in our new Utility Billing System and seems like everyone has gotten the message about new account numbers and are eager to get their portal set-up. Unfortunately, our phone system was not included in the Billing System upgrade and we are at the maximum number of calls and hold times are rather long. The decision was made months ago that late / disconnection fees would not be charged as we go through the initial production period. So, while you will be charged for your usage, late fees and disconnections are currently suspended.

    You are welcome to come into the Utility Customer Service Lobby at 310 Krenek Tap Rd in College Station between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday to Friday and speak with us in person. Thank you for your patience during this major system upgrade.
    b0ridi
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    waterchick said:

    I was confused about that also. Answer is that yes, everyone needs to create a new account in order to be able to view usage, pay bill online, etc. You do not have to re-enroll in auto pay (I'm not on the budget billing so I can't answer that).

    I would think if you get a paper bill and write a check, and never go online, nothing changes other than you write the new account number in the memo line.
    Will we regain access to the Electric Usage portal soon? When I click on the link, I get an "incorrect account number" error (presumably because of the account number change)
    waterchick
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    Great question! I had the same error message and thought it was user error on my part. I actually never set up the portal to view my electric usage after the new meter was installed (I only pay attention to water, LOL). I will ask about that.
    91_Aggie
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    AG
    I finally called and got my new account number.
    And I figured out how this happened.
    All the teams involved:
    Project Manager
    Dev
    Higher level decision makers

    All just decided to not do their jobs properly and all had mindset of "Well if there are problems, support can just handle it"
    I am sure the support manager and support employees are all cursing the project manager on this for not being good at their job
    4lilmonkeys
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    A word of warning to anyone who hasn't gone through this process yet...

    They will want to use the current phone number on your account in order to verify your identity. So if you're like some people (definitely not me) and haven't updated your phone number at any point in the 20-ish years since you became a customer, you'll want to double check that when you call to get your new account number.

    And, if anyone from CSU is reading this, y'all need to give Catherine a raise! I can't even imagine how many irritated customers she's had to deal with in the last few weeks, but both times I called she was incredibly kind and helpful. She definitely made an inconvenient issue much easier to deal with.
    91_Aggie
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    AG
    4lilmonkeys said:

    A word of warning to anyone who hasn't gone through this process yet...

    They will want to use the current phone number on your account in order to verify your identity. So if you're like some people (definitely not me) and haven't updated your phone number at any point in the 20-ish years since you became a customer, you'll want to double check that when you call to get your new account number.

    And, if anyone from CSU is reading this, y'all need to give Catherine a raise! I can't even imagine how many irritated customers she's had to deal with in the last few weeks, but both times I called she was incredibly kind and helpful. She definitely made an inconvenient issue much easier to deal with.

    Yep! The support people having to deal with higher-ups bad decisions need to be given love.
    And don't give them a pizza Party or donuts.
    Give them cash bonuses!
    waterchick
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    I shared it with her. Thanks for the kind words.
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