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Curious Why Citizens Energy Isn’t Answering Its Phones

By Karen Anderson, WBZ-TV
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Fuel, Energy

(credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

BOSTON (CBS) — Oil prices keep climbing and people need help, but they’re having trouble getting through to one source — Citizens Energy.

Citizens Energy helps a quarter of a million people stay warm each year.

But Susan in New Salem Declared her Curiosity asking, “Why is it that Joe Kennedy is constantly on TV advertizing, yet no one ever answers the phone line?”
We tried the toll free number several times and were cut off as well. So we went to get some answers.

Brian O’Connor of Citizens Energy tells us their phone operators are working as hard as they can, but that demand has skyrocketed, with cuts to federal home heating oil assistance, a bitter cold winter.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

He says, “We try to help as many people as we can as quickly as we can, but we prefer to put our resources into fuel rather than fill a building with operators answering phones. People just have to be patient.”

But what about Susan’s question about the TV ads? O’Connor says they are trying to reach people who haven’t been helped by Citizens before.

Every year people must reapply, and officials say it is not an entitlement program. Citizens spends five percent of its budget on marketing. So far Citizens has given out 80 percent of its budget.

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