Terasen Gas applies to expand customer care services with new in-house call centres and customer information system



    
    Customers to benefit from enhanced service, more flexibility, increased
    online services and greater energy efficiency expertise
    

    SURREY, BC, June 3 /CNW/ - Terasen Gas Inc. has applied to the British
Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to change its customer care delivery
model from an outsourced arrangement to an in-house customer care department,
including company-owned call centres and billing operations as well as a new
customer information system. If approved, the new model would be in place
effective January 2012.
    "Serving our more than 930,000 customers is a job that we take very
seriously, and our customer care delivery is a key point of communication
between Terasen Gas and our customers," said Doug Stout, Vice President of
Marketing and Business Development, Terasen Gas.
    "Our existing outsourcing agreement for customer care has been in place
for over seven years and realized substantial benefits for our customers.
However, as we move forward, we need more service offerings, greater
flexibility and direct control in the form of in-house call centres and
billing operations to best deliver the types of services our customers
require," said Stout.
    The proposed customer information system would provide the flexibility
required to implement new service offerings efficiently, such as expanded
energy efficiency and conservation programs and enhanced online services.
Under the new customer care model, the training of staff for the call centres
and billing department would be directly controlled and managed by the
company, providing more opportunities for Terasen Gas to be efficient and
effective in providing information to customers.
    "Delivering service excellence to our customers looks very different
today than it did when we set our existing agreement over seven years ago;
both technology and the B.C. energy market have changed substantially," said
Stout. "We recognize that our customers value a variety of ways to interact
with us beyond telephone services, including web-based options for activities
like opening an account or planning a move. We need to make these changes to
be able to meet these expectations."

    
    Specifically, the application involves the following elements:
    -   Revising the existing outsourced customer care contract to reflect
        the internal delivery of services after 2011, including aspects of
        customer call handling, correspondence and billing operations.
    -   Owning and operating assets required for the delivery of customer
        care services after 2011, including the establishment of two new call
        centres and the implementation of a new customer information system.
    -   The continued outsourcing after 2011 of third party services such as
        statement printing and payment processing.
    

    In preparation for a BCUC decision, the company is now beginning to
research potential locations for the call centres, and to discuss with its
unions the potential to bring new, market competitive jobs back to B.C.
    "Terasen Gas is in the early stages of exploring potential locations and
our hope is to be able to bring these centres and related jobs back to B.C.
but, at the end of the day, we must do what creates the most value for our
customers," said Stout.
    Terasen Gas is requesting a decision by the BCUC on the application by
the end of 2009 in order for implementation to be finalized by January 2012.
Project costs are expected to be $155 million.
    To view a copy of the application, or to learn more about Terasen Gas
customer care, visit terasengas.com

    Terasen Gas is mainly composed of the operations of Terasen Gas Inc. and
Terasen Gas (Vancouver Island) Inc., both indirect wholly owned subsidiaries
of Fortis Inc. Fortis Inc., the largest investor-owned distribution utility in
Canada, serves more than two million gas and electric customers and has total
assets exceeding $11 billion. Its regulated holdings include Terasen Gas and
electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries.
Fortis Inc. owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada
and in Belize and upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial
real estate in Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS. Additional information can be
accessed at www.fortisinc.com or www.sedar.com





For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Joyce Wagenaar, Director,
Corporate & Marketing Communications, Terasen Gas Inc., (604) 785-8946, Email:
joyce.wagenaar@terasengas.com

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TERASEN GAS

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