By Theresa Phillips
It’s 4:45 p.m. The LMUD office is closed and you notice a low-hanging power line in your backyard. You know this is a potentially dangerous situation. You call LMUD’s office at (530) 257-4174 and the automated line picks up. Now what?
The first thing you’ll hear is an automated message offering you several options: Would you like to make a payment, report an outage or stay on the line to speak to a representative? In this situation, you want to speak to a representative.
When you are connected to a representative, you’ll be asked a series of questions. Once they have identified the issue and gathered information from you, they can dispatch our on-call personnel. The entire process only takes a couple of minutes. Isn’t nice to know LMUD can be reached even when the office is closed?
There may be a time when you are dealing with an emergency, such as a power line touching the ground, a car and pole accident, or some other electric-related emergency. If that is the case, call 911. Dispatchers will immediately contact LMUD personnel, who will respond along with other first responders to handle the situation.
Safety is always our first priority. That is why we can be reached around the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. There is never a question of whether we will respond to emergencies or outage calls. It’s just what we do.
Of course, not all after-hours calls are emergencies or outage-related. If you want to make a payment, our automated line allows you to make payments whenever it is convenient for you. If your power is out, you can report an outage 24 hours a day. If you call to report an outage, you will have the option to use our automated line or speak to a representative.
Christina Nystrom, LMUD’s customer service supervisor, explains that when you report an outage via the automated line, you are given an option to input your phone number.
“Once an outage is reported, a representative will call you back to verify your information,” Christina says. “If we can’t reach you, a crew will not be dispatched. So it’s important that we can get in touch with you.”
On your phone call, you’ll talk with a live person who will ask a series of questions to determine if the problem is related to our system or isolated to your service.
“When you call to report an outage, one of the questions you’ll be asked is if you’ve checked your breakers,” Christina says. “This is done to determine if the issue is isolated to your location, or if the problem is related to the LMUD system. We want our customers to avoid incurring unnecessary charges. If our crews are dispatched to an outage call and the issue is on the customer side, you could be charged an after-hours fee. We do our best to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
If you are calling to report an emergency, your call is given priority. The process is quite different from an after-hours outage call.
The bottom line is that LMUD never stops working. No matter what time of day or night, regardless of the weather, we are here for you.