FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- November 19, 2020
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Directs Spire to File Implementation Plan
Addressing Recommendations in PSC Staff Investigation Case
JEFFERSON CITY---The Missouri Public Service Commission has directed Spire Missouri, Inc. (Spire) to file a formal implementation plan to address PSC Staff (Staff) recommendations in a case opened, at the request of Staff, to investigate Spire’s recordkeeping, business practices, business operations and responsiveness to the Commission.
Staff completed its investigation and filed its report and recommendations on October 30, 2020. The Staff report analyzed Spire’s call center operations, quality assurance and employee training practices, metering operations and responsiveness to the Commission and Staff.
“Staff’s investigation revealed several areas of concern, and Staff recommends the Commission direct Spire to file a formal implementation plan to address each of the recommendations offered by Staff,” said the Commission.
No later than December 18, 2020, the Commission has directed Spire to file a formal implementation plan that addresses the following recommendations:
• Evaluate present methods of responding to Staff requests for information and determine alternative back-up measures when workload or other factors will delay responses;
• Require additional training for all call center representatives in the importance and utilization of recording account notes when responding to customer calls;
• Review the methods used to store and organize recorded customer calls to determine if improvements could be made to improve the ease of retrieval;
• Evaluate if there are alternative methods and procedures to monitor the performance of third-party call center representatives;
• Continue to develop additional methods and procedures to monitor the performance of third-party call center representatives;
• Develop enhanced training methods to improve the performance of third-party call center representatives;
• After discussion with Staff, improve the information provided to Staff regarding the staffing and quality performance of call center representatives at each location. This information should be submitted as part of the monthly reporting to Staff as ordered in File No. GM-2013-0254;
• Continue to evaluate the effective utilization of AMR alarms to identify metering problems and take actions to resolve the confusion over the necessary assignment of responsibility for the actions taken in response to the alarms;
• Review the policies regarding the establishing of new service for a customer and develop guidelines relative to the determination and communications of prior balances that may be transferred to this account; and
• Continue to adhere to the procedures developed regarding Dispute Service Agreements to conduct a weekly review of those accounts and to place further extensions on collections when necessary.
The Commission’s order also states that every six months thereafter, Spire is to file a status report describing its progress in addressing those recommendations.
Spire Missouri East provides natural gas service to approximately 654,600 customers in the City of St. Louis as well as the Missouri counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, Butler, Iron, Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, Crawford, St. Francois and Ste. Genevieve. Spire Missouri West provides natural gas service to approximately 522,000 customers in Andrew, Barry, Barton, Bates, Buchanan, Carroll, Cass, Cedar, Christian, Clay, Clinton, Dade, DeKalb, Greene, Henry, Howard, Jackson, Jasper, Johnson, Lafayette, Lawrence, McDonald, Moniteau, Pettis, Platte, Ray, Saline, Stone and Vernon counties.