As I mentioned in my last post, the Washington Post published a pretty devastating expose of Pepco’s failings and today, there are several letters to the editor that provide some insight into public unhappiness with the utility company. Additionally, Post columnist Robert McCartney has a pretty strong take on Pepco and its excuses.
Pepco is facing a public relations crisis. As McCartney points out, Pepco’s PR strategy of saying that customer’s expectations are too high is unsatisfactory and, frankly, ridiculous. The last time I checked, the United States is a first-world country, and Washington, D.C. is its capital. As such, it is not out of line to expect power to be 100% reliable. If, however, this was Haiti, then maybe expectations of electrical service would not be met.
Pepco’s brand promise SHOULD be about reliability. Instead the brand has come to mean LACK OF RELIABILITY. In order to restore its brand, Pepco is going to have to engage in communications that are responsive to real concerns, but further, should absolutely engage in FIXING THE PROBLEM. As I stated before, no amount of communications is going to satisfy a customer who has experienced frequent, extended power outages.