Veco: Text facility to speed up responses to power interruptions

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Saturday, March 31, 2012


CEBU’S consumers now have another way of reporting brownouts after power distribution utility Visayan Electric Company (Veco) launched this week its Ask Veco Outage, which is designed to make the most out of SMS technology.

In a press conference, Veco senior vice president for engineering Sebastian Lacson said the new facility is aimed at getting a faster response to complaints of power outages. It addresses the problem of congested hotlines due to simultaneous calls Veco receives when power is cut.

“With the new facility, consumers are assured that their inquiries on power outages and power restorations will be responded to right away. This is also part of Veco’s serious commitment in utilizing technology for convenience and easy access to customers,” he said.

There are three ways to report or inquire about an outage. These are by texting ASKVECO (space) OUTAGE (space) Veco Account I.D; ASKVECO (space) OUTAGE (space) Veco pole number; or ASKVECO (space) OUTAGE (space) complete address to 391-8326 for Smart, Talk ’n Text or Red Mobile subscribers or to 0922-999-8326 for Sun Cellular and other networks.

Upon receiving the AskVeco Outage text, Veco will respond with a text message with information on the cause of the outage and the restoration time. Veco will also dispatch its e-crew to the customer’s site to check on the cause of the power outage, especially in the event of a non-scheduled interruption.

Veco advised customers to save in their cellular phones the correct syntax with their account ID, for easy texting and reporting.

AskVeco Outage is the second of Veco’s TxtBroadcast series designed to make Veco more accessible to customers. In July last year, Veco launched AskVeco Bill, a facility that allows consumers to get their monthly bills in advance via SMS, minimizing the surcharge for late payments and disconnections.

“We have expanded the use of SMS technology after realizing that people don’t communicate through landlines anymore. Outages are an inconvenience and power needs to be restored immediately,” said Jaime Jose Aboitiz, Veco’s executive vice president and
chief operations officer.

Aboitiz added they are in talks with Globe Telecom to be part of this new solution.

Lacson assured that Veco will continue to capitalize on the use of technology to improve their services, such as using social networking sites and e-payments systems.

Veco reaches out to 330,000 customers in its franchise area, covering the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Naga, and the towns of Liloan, Minglanilla, and San Fernando.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2012.

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