State regulators expand CMP probe to include customer service performance

HALLOWELL (WGME) -- State regulators at the Public Utilities Commission voted on Tuesday to expand its audit into reported issues at Central Maine Power.

The I-Team first exposed widespread complaints from customers in January about record-high bills and unexplained usage.

In February the MPUC launched an investigation followed by a management audit of CMP's meters and new billing system.

Liberty Consulting Group was hired to perform the audit.

After the vote on Tuesday, Liberty will now add to its duties by reviewing how CMP has handled consumer complaints and customer communication.

Customers have complained that CMP was often difficult to reach or wasn't able to help resolve their issues.

"We will provide Liberty Consulting with all of the information it needs for its audit of customer communications. We know that our customers look to us for reassurance when they have questions, and we have not delivered consistently on these expectations," said Gail Rice, a spokesperson for CMP.

The PUC says 2,426 CMP customers have filed complains this year related to high bills and/or customer service issues.

"We'll continue to pursue this to the end and get to the bottom of it, and we expect that to happen in the fall," said PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy during an interview Tuesday with CBS 13.

CMP said it's already taking steps to improve its customer service by recruiting and training more people to handle customer inquiries, which the company said should reduce hold times.

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