State PSC Gets More Consumer-Friendly

    The division within the Maryland Public Service Commission that is responsible for handling utility complaints from customers has been renamed. The newly-branded Consumer Affairs Division (formerly the Office of External Relations) serves as a troubleshooting liaison between customers and utilities, working to resolve disputes regarding billing and service quality.

    The PSC is the state agency that regulates public utilities.

    “Changing the name to ‘Consumer Affairs Division’ will help customers better identify where they can get help with issues related to their electric, gas or water utility, retail energy supplier or telephone service provider,” said Jason M. Stanek, the PSC chairman, who has been on the job for five months. “We are committed to providing the high-quality, consumer-centered experience utility customers deserve and ensure that Maryland ratepayers receive safe and reliable utility services.”

    In addition to the name change, the Consumer Affairs Division will now offer more services to Spanish-speaking customers, the PSC said. Prompts in Spanish have been added to the commission’s automated phone system (410-767-8000 or toll-free, 800-492-0474) and an administrative specialist who is fluent in Spanish will be able to assist Spanish-speaking callers with all utility-based complaints.

    In addition to calling, customers can file complaints online (at www.psc.state.md.us). Information and forms in Spanish will soon be added to the commission’s website.

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.