FirstEnergy Corp. has introduced two new, convenient technologies that make it easier for customers of its 10 utility companies in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia and Maryland to get important information about their electric service on their computer or mobile device.
Customers can now subscribe to receive alert notifications via email or text message that contain information about bills, weather conditions that may impact electrical service, or updates on reported outages. Customers can also use text messaging to report outages, request updates on restoration efforts, and make other inquiries about their electric accounts.
"Our new alerts and text messaging services provide customers with a simple and convenient way to receive the most current information related to their electric service, right in their inbox or on their mobile devices," said Ronald I. Green, vice president, Customer Service. "These tools are part of FirstEnergy's ongoing effort to enhance service to our utility customers, including making it easier to get bills electronically and report power outages."
The alert and text messaging services are the latest additions to the suite of mobile technology recently introduced for customers. Earlier this year, the company launched smartphone apps for Apple iPhone and Android devices, and a mobile website that is accessible by using a smartphone to visit www.firstenergycorp.com. Customers can also view power outages on FirstEnergy's mobile-accessible 24/7 Power Center outage maps or receive information, view photos and watch video on the company's social media accounts.
Alerts offer important notifications related to outages or bills
The alert service allows customers to sign up for automated email or text message notifications on topics including:
- Restoration updates during extended power outages
- Notifications of scheduled power outages
- Severe weather alerts in advance of storms
- Billing reminders, including alerts when a new bill is available, a payment is due, a payment has been posted, or no payment has been received
- Reminder of scheduled meter reading date
Alert preferences can be updated at any time.
Text messaging gives customers more flexibility
Interactive text messaging makes it easy for customers to report a power outage, request a status update on a reported outage, or make billing inquiries from a mobile phone. Text messaging is a customer-initiated communication tool, that in many cases can take the place of placing a phone call or filling out an on-line form. It offers the ultimate ease-of-access to the information and services customers require, using simple codes and the existing text message service on their mobile devices.
Customers can sign up for text messaging by texting REG to 544487 (LIGHTS). Additional sign-up instructions, a guide to texting codes and terms and conditions, can be found online at www.firstenergycorp.com/connect.
The alert and text message services are provided free of charge to FirstEnergy utility customers; however, mobile carriers may charge customers to send and receive text messages or utilize data services. Customers should contact their carrier for more details about message and data rates.
Additional projects in development for FirstEnergy's electric utility customers include enhancements to the company's 24/7 Power Center outage map and information website, and increased functionality on the mobile website and app.