For the Franklin PUD Customer Service team, COVID-19 meant adjusting to a new reality and fast. Franklin PUD Customer Service Manager Abby Borchers, says her team has done a fantastic job helping customers with all their needs, whether it’s on the phone or in person.
“We allow people to drive through or walk through. We can do much more than take a payment in the drive-thru. Services we can provide include: answering account questions, going over the process to set up new service, cancel existing service or make a payment arrangement. Customer Service Representatives are available by phone to discuss anything regarding the customer’s account that the customer does not feel comfortable discussing in the drive-thru ,” said Borchers.
The drive-thru is open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is always a Spanish speaking Customer Service Representative available. There’s also a walk-up box where you can put payments inside.
Borchers says the drive-thru is much more equipped to handle day-to-day business than most people think. Each drive-thru window is equipped with a video screen where a customer can actually see the Customer Service Representative.
“It really makes it a much better customer experience. I think they like seeing an actual person. It really helps the process,” said Merari Mendoza, who has been a Customer Service Representative for three years with Franklin PUD.
“I like how fast and easy it is. Especially with the mask situation. The experience is great,” said Larry Tharp, a Franklin PUD customer for 26 years.
Borchers says more than 7,000 customers a month used to come through Franklin PUD’s doors. The biggest adjustment has been making sure they can provide every service in the drive-thru. Now at five months into the pandemic, Borchers says they’ve got the system working efficiently.
“Customers can bring documents to drop off if requested. They can also make payments for the engineering department and provide documents for other departments as well,” said Borchers.
Borchers says Customer Service Reps can also help process senior and low income discounts at the drive-thru window.
“You can call us – we can help you over the phone – by going over the required documentation needed and how to submit it for approval. To review eligibility requirements you can visit our website by going to the Programs and Services tab and clicking on Low Income Senior Discount or Low Income Disabled Discount. The disabled person does not necessarily have to be the customer. It can be someone living in the household as long as the household income is considered low income,” said Borchers.
Borchers says never hesitate to call her staff if you’re having issues with your bill. As a non-profit organization, Franklin PUD’s first priority is their customers well-being and if her staff knows your situation they can better serve your needs.
“Ultimately we’re here to help. If you are struggling paying your bill, if you have any situation that might explain why you have not made a payment, please let us know. We can make that note on your account and work with you. Ultimately, we are trying to help provide the resources or advise you of where to go for assistance based on your individual situation. If you reach out to us we’d be more than happy to note the account, make a payment arrangement and work with you in any possible way that we can to help you get the bill paid,” said Borchers.
Franklin PUD’s drive thru is located at 1411 W. Clark Street at the corner of 14th and Clark in Pasco. The phone number is 509-547-5591. You can also find our SmartHub app in the app store. Or log onto our website at www.franklinpud.com where you can pay your bill 24 hours a day.