PSEG Long Island joins more than 80 North American utilities to combat consumer scams

Utilities United Against Scams

Last year, more than 3 million consumers filed fraud complaints in the United States, according to the Federal Trade Commissions – likely just a fraction of the scams being perpetrated throughout the country, costing consumers millions of dollars annually.

While scammers present themselves in a variety of ways, one of their most popular schemes involves posing as companies you communicate with on a regular basis: utilities. As a result, PSEG Long Island is taking action to protect and educate our customers. We’ve partnered with more than 80 electric and gas utilities in North America to form Utilities United Against Scams. The collaborative effort was orchestrated by Duke Energy to bring awareness to residential and commercial customers affected by ongoing payment scams.

Who is at risk?

Scammers don’t discriminate, so all customers are unfortunately at risk. However, these sophisticated thieves tend to target small businesses because their bills are typically larger than residential customers, but don’t have the checks and balances of a big business.

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How do I know if I’m being scammed?

Although the type of scam may vary depending on a customer’s geographic location, scams on Long Island and the Rockaways all resemble a similar situation. Customers typically receive unsolicited phone calls from an individual who falsely claims to be one of our representatives, warning that PSEG Long Island will disconnect their electric service if they fail to make a payment via a pre-paid card in full.

These are just a few tell-tale signs to indicate you may be on the phone with a scammer:

  • The thief becomes angry and tells the customer his or her account is past due and service will be disconnected if a large payment isn’t made.
  • The thief instructs the customer to purchase a pre-paid debit or credit card – widely available at retail stores – then call him or her back to supposedly make a payment to PSEG Long Island.
  • The scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s receipt number and PIN number, which grants instant access to the card’s funds.

It’s important to remember that before PSEG Long Island terminates service, we alert our customers in a number of ways: messages on bills, letters and phone calls. We also offer a number of payment options and would never require a customer to use one specific type of payment.

What should I do if I receive this type of call?

If you receive this type of call, do not give out any type of personal or account information. Instead, hang up and call the phone number listed on your bill and our website: 1-800-490-0025. Be sure to also report scamming activity to your local police department. PSEG Long Island is working with local and national law enforcement to investigate reported scams and is also reaching out to its contacts at local community service agencies asking them to spread the word to their clients.

For more information on scams and how to avoid them, visit www.psegliny.com/scam, like PSEG Long Island on Facebook and follow on Twitter @PSEGLI.

 

PSEG Long Island customer service satisfaction on the rise (again)

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Over 500 PSEG Long Island employees participated in the 2016 Marcum Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach this July.

When PSEG Long Island took the helm of distributing reliable and efficient power to Nassau, Suffolk and the Rockaways in 2014, we’ve had unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction—and according to one global market research company, it’s paying off.

J.D. Power—the recognized industry leader for customer satisfaction—recently released its latest customer satisfaction survey results, ranking PSEG Long Island as the fourth-most improved large utility in the nation. We’ve climbed 26 points from last year to achieve a score of 610, our highest thus far. In 2015, customer satisfaction climbed 52 points, making PSEG Long Island the most improved large utility in the nation.

J.D. Power scores are configured by surveying roughly 300 of our customers each quarter. The surveys include about 40 questions over six different categories to understand how the customer feels about the service, as well as their thoughts and feelings on the company. The results are measured on a 10-point scale, which are then tabulated and compared against peer panel of 16 other large utility companies in the Northeast on a 1,000-point scale.

So, why are we excited about this?

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do at PSEG Long Island, rooting back to the core of our mission statement:

graphic 3To build an industry leading electric company dedicated to providing our Long Island and Rockaways customers with exceptional customer service, best-in-class reliability and storm response as well as a strong level of involvement in the communities in which we live and work.”

We’ve also made a commitment to be in the top 25-percent of electric utility providers in the northeast, because above all, our goal is to make things work for you – plain and simple.

But even with these large and consistent improvements over the past few years, PSEG Long Island remains last among Large East Utilities. We’re determined to change that.

Here’s the plan.

Over the next six months, the company will deliver a number of upgrades and enhancements designed to make it easier and more convenient for customers to do business. Customers will soon see an upgraded and replaced My Account platform; a completely redesigned bill, featuring information to help customers better understand and manage their costs and usage; the ability to pay by text; and a totally revamped balanced billing program, which will allow customers to have a more consistent and predictable balanced payment for 12 consecutive months.

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Over 500 PSEG Long Island employees participated in the 2016 Marcum Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach this July.

And there’s more.

For us, customer service doesn’t stop at business/consumer relations. In addition to keeping your lights on and making your interactions with us easier and more convenient, nearly every PSEG Long Island employee participates in giving back to the communities we all call home.

Keep an eye out for us across Long Island and be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages to find out the next time we’ll be in your neighborhood.

Get Plugged IN — To savings for small businesses

 

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Welcome to Plugged IN, PSEG Long Island’s new blog. Here you will find the latest information about how to lower your bills, how to save money upgrading your home or business, how we are improving reliability, and everything else about how we serve Long Island and the Rockaways.

We are kicking off Plugged IN during National Small Business Week. As vice president of customer service, this makes me the perfect person to write the very first post.

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy — on Long Island, in the Rockaways, and all across the nation. They are responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of new jobs in the country each year, and they employ more than half of all Americans.

If there’s one thing I know from working with our economic development team, it’s that saving money is more important to small business owners than anyone else. Every extra dollar doesn’t go to shareholders — it goes toward paying a mortgage, buying dinner, or paying an employee.

That’s why I’m so proud of what we are achieving at PSEG Long Island with our energy efficiency programs. It all starts with a free energy consultation, when an expert walks through the business, gathers historical usage data, and identifies appliances or fixtures that could be upgraded. We take all this information and create a report that’s custom-tailored to each individual business. Then we help identify every discount and rebate a business owner can utilize to make these upgrades affordable.

The end result is that these businesses save twice: Once when they purchase the new equipment, and then every month, when they save hundreds—or even thousands—on their electricity bill.

As an example, let’s look at the Park Bake Shop in Kings Park. Owner Gabe Shtanko was able to get nearly $23,000 in rebates for LED lighting and new refrigerator motor controls. They are expected to save more than $12,000 a year on their power bill.

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“We weren’t sure where to start when it came to reducing energy costs,” Shtanko said. “PSEG Long Island made it easy and we’re now looking forward to savings for years to come.”

The Park Bake Shop isn’t the only business getting in on these offers. In 2015, our commercial customers completed more than 3,200 energy efficient projects, resulting in electric bill savings of $20 million. Of those projects, nearly 70 percent were small- and medium-sized businesses.

National Small Business Week is the ideal time to tell you about our program, but you can take advantage of it all year round. Just go to https://www.psegliny.com/page.cfm/SaveMoney to get started.