I worked for the City of Austin for five years, between 1987 and 1992 and I know that if line staff don't want to pass on a message to managers, or managers don't want to be bothered with a customer complaint -- they will simply drop the ball and/or ""forget"" to pass on a message or ""misfile"" a complaint so that nothing gets done.
I called the COA Electric Utility on no less than SIX different occasions in May and June, 2009 regarding a disupte with my bill, was ""promised"" a response each time and each time no response occurred. Their phone tree is absolutely maddening. One must drill at *least* four levels into the tree before one can reach a customer wervice representative who will assure you that ""someone will check into your complaint"" -- and then nothing will be done.
Today (June 29) when I called, I spent nearly THREE hours with various people at the COA Electric Utility -- being disconnected, being transferred and disconnected, being transferred into ether, being transferred to the wrong department and then re-transferred to another wrong department and then disconnected, being transferred to the wrong department then being transferred to someone who said, ""I don't know what to do or who to transfer this to"" and finally getting the right person whose only response was, ""Well, you used too much electricity last year and the rate is set in stone and nothing can or will be done about your complaint.""
The COA Electric Utility represent the worst of the worst in customer service and customer response. It isn't service which is ""second to none"" -- it IS none.
Pros: They do provide electrical service, good online tools
Cons: Customer service & phone tree from HELL, don't return calls