CPS customer frustrated with utility company

Woman claims gender discrimination on the part of CPS customer service

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Oct 05 2012 06:24:03 PM CDT   Updated On: Oct 05 2012 10:00:57 PM CDT

For 27 years, Gaye Rousseau said she and her husband have been customers in good standing with CPS Energy.

When Rousseau calls to make a change on the account of one of their jointly owned rental properties, she expects to be able to complete the task, but over the years, Rousseau remembers running into road blocks whenever she calls to establish service at a new property.

More specifically, she recalls the representative asking to speak to her husband to get his approval, since he is the primary account holder at their home address.

Rousseau feels like she's being discriminated against.

CPS can only establish service on a new property in her husband's name with his approval, since he is the customer of record, but CPS should be able to establish service on a new property in her name with her approval, since she is an authorized user.

"They said yes before, but every time I've called back, it's the same thing," Rousseau said.

CPS records show Rousseau has been able to set up service on new properties multiple times in her own name without her husband's permission, but she said it has not been without a hassle.

"I'm not quite sure what was told. I don't have the recording of that," said CPS Energy representative Christine Patmon.

During Rousseau's most recent dealings with CPS, she said she was told she could not establish service on a new property in her own name unless she put down a deposit.

"Apparently, she was told she needed a deposit. It was a mistake by the customer service representative," Patmon said.

Patmon also explained it was an oversight, since Rousseau is a customer in good standing.

"The first screen that comes up is the primary account holder's account name and information, and so they just didn't drill down far enough and see that she has access to the account," Patmon said.

Patmon said the employee has been talked to and that Gaye Rousseau's case is not a case of gender discrimination.