Every unit of the SFPUC’s Customer Service Bureau (CSB) is working with a skeleton crew in order maintain social distancing and to keep employees safe.
This is part of the “new normal” and includes:
- Eliminating counter services at 525 Golden Gate Avenue as the building is closed to the public.
- Having 50% of staff work remotely.
- Canceling and rescheduling appointments for inside leak for investigations into high usage charges, as well as check repairs and yard inspections.
However, that does not mean customers are not calling. They still need to establish accounts, question high usage on their bills, or arrange for alternative payments options.
“I’m proud of my team, they have risen to the occasion. There is great team spirit to provide excellent service to our customers,” says Aleda Graham, SFPUC Customer Service Operations Manager, adding “Customers have been very supportive, saying they ‘don’t mind waiting’ as they know we’re doing our best.”
Bobby Ward, SFPUC Customer Service Cashier, states, “Because of my loyalty and dedication to the organization, I’m glad to be part of a team that is able to provide a level of service to our ratepayers and shareholders during these challenging times.”
Tricia Hutcherson, SFPUC Customer Service Business and Systems Support (BASS) Manager, shared, “The BASS team is always working behind the scenes; they have an absolute dedication to supporting the SFPUC and the citizens of San Francisco at this critical moment.”
James Nguyen, SFPUC New Services & Capacity Charges Manager of the Customer Services Bureau, states, “As an employee to the City and County of San Francisco, I have a great appreciation for everything the City has provided me. It is in these tough times, I feel compelled to honor the City and its citizens by doing my civic duty as an essential employee to continue the functions at the SFPUC. I commend each and everyone of my colleagues who made the sacrifice to come to work and thank their families for allowing us to do so.”
Graham notes that this is the first time the Customer Service Bureau has been affected by counter closures and personal contact restrictions brought about by a public health pandemic. “We had to act quickly; we had not considered remote access before,” Graham points out. “IT staff are doing their best to consider our needs for staff working remotely.”
There is one aspect of the SFPUC’s Customer Service Bureau that is continuing as before without interruptions: outside field work on replacing meters, changing meter dials, and even reading meters, which does not require contact with our customers.