Are customers warming up to Pepco again?

Around this time last year my colleague Mary Pat Flaherty reported that Pepco’s customer service rating had gone from 70 to 54 — on a scale of 100 — in the annual American Customer Satisfaction Index survey.


Crews from North Carolina on contract with Pepco repair down power lines along Belwood Street after wind and rain from Hurricane Irene took down trees Sunday, Aug.28, 2011 in Forestville, Md. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

Pepco's awful rating came after a winter of long outages throughout the region. We were without power for several days at my home in Germantown, and it got so cold one night that we took our kids to a hotel.

Well, the survey came out again this week — following a mild winter, during which I cannot recall a single outage at my home — and Pepco’s score has jumped 28 percent to 69. (That’s still below the electric utility industry average of 75.)

What explains Pepco’s improvement?

In commentary on the survey results, ACIS officials wrote: “Frequent and lengthy outages pointed to many problems within Pepco’s transmission system and created a firestorm of criticism. In response, the utility made substantial improvements to its power grids and was able to restore power quickly in the wake of Hurricane Irene in August 2011. Generally mild weather throughout the past twelve months helped as well.”

I know many readers of this blog will likely want to chime in on these results. Has Pepco been more reliable for you? If you could grade the company on a scale of 1 to 100, what would your score be? Comment below.

Michael Rosenwald is a reporter on the Post's local enterprise team. He writes about the intersection of technology, business and culture.

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