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Comments, e-mails and conversation    

Tags: Avista Utilities

Post by Dan Kolbet

We don’t get a great deal of comments on this blog. I get it. Unlike most other blogs out there, your user name shows your actual first name and last initial. For example, mine says ‘Dan K’ when I reply to comments here. Most people prefer an alias and a bit more anonymity in their online participation, which is why e-mail is the most popular way customers reach the blog and that’s cool.

The Avista Utilities website, as you might expect, was originally designed for customers to log-in to their My Accounts to access billing and account info – not blog comments. But through the wonder of technology, our tech folks added the blog into the mix, allowing comments on posts from customers like you from one account sign-in. Everyone can read the blog, but only customers can comment.

I’ve gotten a few e-mails (note “e-mails”) asking me why we don’t have more comments on the blog. It seems as though some believe comments are the only conversation we’re having with customers. While comments are one outlet – and one that is visible for all to see – it’s not the only one.

E-mail is definitely a popular choice and it is really a key medium that I’ve seen an increase in. Anyone who sends an e-mail to will receive a personal reply and an answer to whatever question is on your mind. We’ve even featured some of them on the blog. I’ve had many lengthy e-mail and in-person conversations with customers about rates, our generation mix, billing, power outages, executive compensation, energy efficiency, smart grid, our history, our future, shareholders and profits, environmental stewardship – you name it. 

We’re also creating videos and sharing information through web banner ads and new content, e-mails, newspaper fliers and community events in the hopes that customers will get in touch with our Customer Service Representatives to get billing assistance, if they need it, before the trouble gets too big to handle. Billing assistance isn’t the only thing you can contact us about, but it’s a big one this time of year.

So, would l like it if I had dozens of comments on every post? Yes I would, but that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, I rest easy knowing that customers can e-mail the blog or Customer Service, follow @Dan_at_Avista or @AvistaCares on Twitter, interact with us on various discussion forums, call us at 1-800-227-9187, or just have an informal conversation with an employee you know.

Energy, our services and your needs are important to us and we want to talk about all of them with you.

Are you surprised that your utility wants hear from you?  Tell us why.

Posted by  System Account  on  1/25/2010
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