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MLGW outages causing "life or death" issues for some customers

Resident and landlord says residents are suffering from MLGW wait times and outages.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — MLGW said Friday they are understaffed and in the process of hiring more customer service positions as they’re receiving about 23,000 calls per week, but they also said the average wait time is 37 minutes. 

Resident Kayla Gore said her wait time was two hours, not counting the amount of time she waited for a response on social media and via their chat box online.

“It affects many different people in many different ways and a lot of people think ‘oh, your lights are off, you’ll be okay, we’ve lived without electricity before but for certain people, it’s a life or death situation,” Gore said.

Well, that situation is becoming a reality for one of her residents.

“They’re a person who uses a dialysis machine in their home so the delay is the problem, you know, its an emergency,” Gore said.

While the company admits they’re having communication issues, MLGW President JT Young said they’re hiring.

“If you go to mlgw.com under careers you’ll find that we have jobs that we’re searching for and you’ll certainly see those customer service positions have been out there,” Young said.

RELATED: MLGW President & CEO J.T. Young resigns

Gore said she’s tried pretty much every method of contacting them as she could but ultimately, she said she had to wait hours on the phone.

“So I tried the building services line, I tried the emergency power down line, I tried social media through Facebook messenger, I also tried to use the chat box on their website and what I needed help with, they couldn’t help on those mediums,” Gore said. “What I needed help with I had to speak with a live representative.”

Along with communication issues, frequent outages are also needing to be addressed, President Young said they were working on the outages in June.

“We’re gonna work diligently to make sure that we minimize the duration and frequency of those outages,” Young said in June.

Today, we followed up with him on that comment.

“A lot of it is actually augmenting what we are currently doing in our service improvement plan, but we are specifically doing some things with line overhead construction to do some rebuild in those areas where we know we have some challenges, that’s just one example of some things we have,” Young said.

Though the company doesn’t currently know who will replace President Young, resident Gore said she’s hopeful a change of leadership and an increase in hiring call representatives will improve resident experiences with MLGW.

RELATED: "I'm old-fashioned" | Elderly MLGW customer say online self service options are inconvenient

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