It’s not just utilities that are incorporating social media into their business strategy. Increasingly, utility customers are also turning to social media to voice their opinions about utility practices — and their social media campaigns are gaining traction with regulators.
As this recent news story reports, the New York Public Service Commission ordered the Long Island American Water Company to investigate and fix customer problems with brown water. The Commission learned of the problem through various customer websites complaining about poor water quality.
Of course, customer complaints only go so far. Ultimately, even though the company must fix the problem, it still secured the rate increase that it requested.
But still, there’s a lesson here for utilities. Regulatory commissions are watching social media — and utilities start doing the same as well.