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For Immediate Release

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Pepco Offers New Toll-Free Number To Report Power Outages

New Number Will Virtually Eliminate Busy Signals

For Immediate Release
November 23, 1999

Pepco customers can now report power outages on a new toll-free automated telephone system that virtually eliminates busy signals. The new number is: 1-877-Pepco 62 (1-877-737-2662).

Features of the new system include:

    • handles up to 100,000 calls per hour;
    • automated voice handles calls in English or Spanish; and
    • provides reports on when power will be restored.

The new system automatically "reads" customer telephone numbers and notes the location of the outage, enabling the restoration process to begin. When customers dial 1-877-PEPCO 62, the system automatically recognizes their phone number if it is in Pepco`s customer account system. If customers are calling from a different location, they can simply key in the telephone number for the outage location, or their Pepco account number.

In order for the system to work most efficiently, however, it is essential that Pepco have customers` current telephone numbers. Customers are urged to check for a special notice in their December Pepco bill to make sure their telephone number is up to date. If it is not correct, they can report the new number by calling Pepco`s 24-hour Telephone Update Line at (202) 835-1007. Also included in the bill will be a sticker featuring the new outage reporting number.

"We recognize that some people want to hear a human voice when they call in an outage, but in times of widespread outages, such as during severe storm conditions, traditional systems can quickly be overwhelmed, and the customer is more likely to get a busy signal, thus adding to their frustration," said Robert C. Grantley, Pepco Group Vice President for Customer Service. "The advantage of the new system," explained Grantley, "is that it virtually eliminates busy signals, the calls go through, and we can quickly begin the process of restoring the customer`s power."

The telephone number for billing questions and other non-emergency calls remains the same: (202) 833-7500. Customer service representatives remain available on this 24-hour phone line.

Pepco serves nearly 700,000 customers in the District of Columbia and its Maryland suburbs.

Point of Contact:
David L. Morehead

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