Entergy offering cellphone-based services

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011



LAPLACE – With people becoming more and more dependent on cellphones as a communication and social lifeline, Entergy has developed a new account system to keep customers further connected even when the power may not be.

Sheila Butler, customer service manager for Entergy in St. John the Baptist Parish, said the company recently rolled out new account options that allow customers to access information about their accounts directly from their cellphones.

“People are doing everything with their cellphones, more so than with their computers,” Butler said. “We have developed a system that allows them to operate and update their accounts whenever they want.”

Butler said customers can register for email alerts or text alerts to update account information or check for outages at their homes or offices through a system called “My Account Anywhere.”

“The system lets customers access critical information and do business quickly and conveniently,” Butler said. “Simple text commands allow you to plan ahead and take care of accounts right from the cellphone.”

Butler said if power goes down in an area, the text-based system allows customers to check if the power is on at another location, like a business or other home. It is also useful in emergency situations, such as when an evacuation has occurred. The system lets customers know when the power will be restored in an area.

In order to register for the text alert system, Butler said Entergy customers should text the message “reg” without quotes to 368374 from any text-capable cellphone. The system will respond and ask for an Entergy account number and ZIP code.

Butler said if an outage is detected at the customer’s location, Entergy will send a text message to alert them, followed by updates when the status of the outage changes. A final message will be sent when the power has been restored on the street.

To report an outage at a home or office text “out” to 368374. Entergy will send a confirmation text and other instructions if needed.

Butler said there is no charge from Entergy, but depending on wireless plans, customers may be charged by the cellular provider for the text messages or Web data associated with the service. She also said certain features may require equipment upgrade for viewing.

Butler said customers can also use the system to keep tabs on account information to manage tight cash situations, make last-minute payments, or avoid forgotten payments. There are also options for finding out if a work order or permit has been approved, or why the status changed.