Your Opinion: Complaint focuses on service

Dear Editor:

What comes to mind when I think about utility services in this area: “Bring back the old Missouri Power and Light.” They appreciated their customers, took care of them, and made sure they had great service.

First let me say, I have no problem with our local linemen and others who work for Ameren. My problem is with the way the St. Louis corporate office treats its customers.

About a year ago, Ameren installed a new light pole in our parking lot. The pole went through our sewer and water lines, resulting in a backup of more than four inches of water in the lower level of our firm. I made numerous calls to Ameren’s St. Louis Claims Department over a period of a week. After repeatedly calling to no avail, I personally went to the company’s headquarters on Madison Street. I could not get beyond the front entrance and was told to go to the service/maintenance office on Industrial Drive.

I made numerous inquiries, attempting to obtain the name and address of Ameren’s insurance carrier. I was told Ameren was self–insured; obviously the insurance company is owned by Ameren. After three weeks, an insurance adjuster finally came out. He offered us only 50 cents on the dollar.

When I explained the damage was completely the fault of Ameren, he didn’t seem to care; we were advised to turn the matter over to own insurance company and they would litigate. I had no choice but to do so. Our insurance company backed us 100 percent and took on Ameren. Our insurer won; we got our deductible back, but we were unable to use the lower portion of our facility, including our computer room, board room and other offices, for three months. Had the damage occurred during tax season, our revenues would have been significantly impacted.

This is the way Ameren treats a customer with numerous properties who has never missed a payment in all the years of doing business with this company. Perhaps employees at the St. Louis corporate office should take customer service training from either Three Rivers or Central Missouri Co-op. Some of my rental properties are served by these companies, and I’ve never had a complaint.

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