By Cassie McClure and Suzanne Michaels
Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News 11/10/19
Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) has a new tool in the toolbox to alert customers to utilities-related outages in your neighborhood or place of business. Whether it’s an emergency repair or a planned outage, that means no surprises, like walking in the door, turning on the tap and realizing the water is off in your neighborhood!
In late December, LCU will start providing utility alert messages to customers through three (3) pathways: first by email, second as a text to your phone, and then via a phone call - all specifically pertaining to your utilities services. There is no charge to you for this service and you don’t even need to sign up.
“We want to be sure customers understand these messages are only utilities-based and not an emergency management system that includes alerts by the Fire Department or even Public Works with road work,” explains Jeff Dillard, LCU business system analyst. Alerts are related to emergency service outages, planned service outages, and utility account statuses - like an overdue bill or the day before service cut-off.
Dillard also explained the system is very interactive: Once you confirm receipt of the email message through a click, there will be no other messages. If there is no response to the email, the message is resent through a text. Respond that you received the text and there is no phone call. But, if there is no response to the text, then a phone call will alert customers.
“We’re using our active customer list to get the information on where to send alerts and establish even more accuracy by reaching out directly,” Dillard said. “Any changes that we receive are updated to the account and refreshed in the alert system by 5 a.m. the next day.” For example, if LCU discovers that someone is linked to two different
accounts, in the future they’ll only get one message. The system also recognizes duplicate information when sending phone calls, limiting the number of times you are called with the same message.
LCU wants to provide timely information that you need to know and connect with you through your smartphone, tablet, watch, laptop/desktop, and social media. Need to update your contact information ahead of December? Reach out to LCU Customer Central by calling 575-541-2111 or email CustomerService@las-cruces.org or come by City Hall at 700 N. Main or the East Mesa office at 5195 Bataan Memorial.
You can reach Las Cruces Utilities at 528-3500 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Las Cruces Utilities provides GAS – WATER – WASTEWATER – SOLID WASTE services to approximately 100,000 Las Cruces residents and businesses.
PHOTO 1: This is an example of what a text alert to your phone will look like. Get notifications on utilities outages for gas and water, and even reminders that your bill is overdue.