Awesome NStar customer service during power interruption

It’s so rare that I read a raving positive review of a utility company.  I don’t remember the last one. 
It’s even more rare that I write one myself.  I don’t think I ever have.

But last week, during the snow storm, NStar totally nailed it for me.  We had a power outage, and I wanted to recap the sequence of interactions with them.  Thank you, NStar, for doing a great job here.

The power went out at home.  I tried the circuit breakers and such with no luck.  I didn’t know NStar’s number off the top of my head, so I Googled it on my mobile phone. 

I immediate found their NStar Restoration Efforts web page, the first result for the Google query “NStar power outage” — good SEO!  The page was OK, not amazing, but it had the phone number to call right there in bold letters: 800-592-2000.

So I called, and an automated machine answered.  The options were easy to understand and follow.  I picked the “I don’t have power” option.  NStar knew my address from my phone number, since I am a customer, and asked me to confirm with a simple “Yes” or “No” if that’s the address I’m calling about.  I said “Yes” obviously.

It said, “OK, we have recorded this outage.”  At this point I didn’t really believe they’d do anything.  But, to my pleasant surprise, a few minutes later I got a call back from that number!  I picked it up, and an automated message told me a crew had been dispatched and should be there within X minutes.  How awesome is that?

But wait, it gets even better!  Surely enough, about an hour later, I hear a truck roll outside, and it’s an NStar truck.  About 10 minutes after that, I get another call from the NStar number.  It’s again an automated message telling me their crew is working on the issue and the estimated time for repairs is Y hours.

This is getting amazing.  I’m loving NStar right now.  Frequent status updates are like an addictive drug, in a positive way.  I can use the information to plan what to do, e.g. take a nap.

After a while longer, I don’t remember exactly how long, the power comes back on.  I’m now a fairly happy customer.  But it gets even better!

A few minutes after the power comes on, I get yet another call from the NStar number.  This time the automated message asks me to confirm that I have power, i.e. that things are resolved to my satisfaction.  I said yes, and they had a brief automated thank you message.

Really nicely done, NStar.  Automated, timely, frequent updates, easy usability, that’s hard to beat.  I’m impressed.