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From the Manager

    At Clay Electric’s annual meeting in August of last year, I spoke to you briefly about our goal to do a better job of communicating with you on the platform in which you feel most comfortable. Additionally, I told you about some upcoming initiatives designed to decrease hold times, and prevent busy signals when you call to report an outage.

    I am happy to say we now have made a change that should accomplish
that goal.

    Previously, when you called into your cooperative, you were calling directly into our local office and then the line would be transferred to our call center if your call wasn’t picked up. That was certainly better than just getting dead air. The problem with that method was it didn’t account for the number of physical lines we had available. We are a small cooperative, so we only have three incoming lines, with two people here locally to answer them. 

    Now imagine if an entire substation were to lose power because of a transmission level failure. Our power supplier is located south of Marion and has to contract with Ameren to use a portion of its transmission lines to get to us. So, if there is a transmission outage, then we will also have distribution outages. 

    That means you won’t have power at home, even though there isn’t anything wrong with our local system. It also means that many more people will not have power in their homes either. 

    It’s at that point you would typically call in to report the outage. And, that’s exactly what you should do! It alerts us to a problem so we can investigate and get to work fixing it. Unfortunately, all of those other people are trying to call in as well. Remember though, we only had three physical lines. Everything else had to ring here locally, and then be transferred to the call center. If all three lines are busy, then the transfer couldn’t happen. 

    Well, now we have a solution.  Because our 1-800-582-9012 phone number can be managed at a different location, our after-hours call center will now manage the number.

    So, what exactly does that mean?

    When you call the 1-800-582-9012 number now, your call will first try to ring here at the office like before. However, it’s no longer dependent upon our physical lines. Instead, the call center’s lines are handling the routing of your call. So, if we don’t pick up because our two staff members are busy, (Thank you Ginger and Karen!) then you won’t get a busy signal or dead air. Instead, one of the call center employees will answer and help you with the call. That way, you can get a report in and we will get the message. 

    Of course, no system is perfect and we are bound to have a few flaws we need to work out. I am hopeful this will provide some relief to those of you who have let us know there was a problem. We never forget that our job is to serve you, the member, and this change reflects that goal. 

    Thank you for being patient with us while we get the system up and working. We have a few more modernizations coming your way soon as well. I will get the information to you as soon as things are up and going!

    Until next time, stay safe out there.