2007-09-29 / Editorials & Letters

More Letters: Consumers' Counsel can help with utility complaints

Editor:

Consumers needing to resolve utility complaints can once again turn to the Office of the Ohio Consumers' Counsel (OCC) and its toll-free hotline at 1-877- PICKOCC (1-877-742-5622).

Thanks to Gov. Ted Strickland and the Ohio legislature, the OCC is re-establishing its complaint handling service on Oct.1 based on the state's most recent budget. After two years of not being able to handle complaints, the OCC will once again strive to bring customers positive results.

During the previous budget period, all utility complaints were handled by state utility regulators. The OCC continued to answer questions and provide educational information through its toll-free hotline. It closely monitored utility issues by reviewing information provided by state regulators.

The OCC hotline can assist consumers on electric, natural gas, telephone and water issues, including the following:

- Resolving a complaint about utility service

- Providing assistance on understanding charges on utility bills

- Explaining the steps to choosing a natural gas or telephone provider

- Providing fact sheets on understanding utility bills and other related topics

- Offering cost saving tips through energy conservation and efficiency

- Resolving issues on disconnection and reconnection of utility services

- Educating consumers on how to apply for low-income assistance programs

Consumers also can reach representatives by sending requests or questions to occ@occ. state.oh.us, visiting the website at www.pickocc.org or by writing to Officeof the Ohio Consumers' Counsel, 10 W. Broad Street, 18th floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215.

Janine Migden-Ostrander Consumers' Counsel Columbus

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