How To Report

How to Report an Outage

When a major storm causes a power outage, Ozark Border works diligently to restore service.

Ozark Border Electric Cooperative has a state-of-the-art automated outage reporting system that allows faster notification and response.
If you should experience an outage you should:

check your fuses or breakers at your breaker box
check the breaker under the meter (if your meter is on the pole)
check with your neighbors to see if their power is off
  To report a power outage, calls should be directed to 573-785-4631 or 1-800-392-0567 if a long distance call is required.

Some of the things to consider about power outages are as follows:

The Cooperative attempts to prevent power outages by maintaining its right-of-ways and upgrading its system. The Consumers of the Cooperative can help reduce power outages and the cost of their electric service by cooperating with the Cooperative in cutting and trimming of trees along the power lines and providing the Cooperative access to the lines when upgrading the lines and changing poles. The maintenance that is done to the right-of-ways and power lines help reduce outages and reduce cost.
When reporting a power outage, always report any damage you observed or noise that you heard. Do not touch any low-hanging power lines or power lines on the ground. Do not try to remove items which are in contact with power lines.
Automated Outage Reporting System

While it is our goal to prevent power outages, it is our responsibility to be prepared to deal with power outages when they occur.  Ozark Border maintains a dispatcher on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  When an after-hours outage occurs which affects a large number of consumers, the first few minutes are the most critical for our dispatchers.  Consumer calls start pouring in on our 12 toll free telephone lines, line crews must be called out to work the outage, and supervisors and additional help must be called in. Our first objective in these instances is to call a crew so power can be restored.  The second objective is to call for additional help so the outage calls can be answered.  The third is to answer those incoming calls.  For one dispatcher working alone this can be a huge task. 

It is important to us for all consumers experiencing an outage to call and report it to us.

Without your calls we cannot determine the severity of the outage. Also, our consumers are very good at making us aware of damage to the lines, such as trees on lines or broken poles. This information is extremely valuable when it comes to accessing the damage and getting power back on quickly.

A number of years ago the cooperative began using an automated outage reporting system to assist us with taking calls.  This has been an extremely helpful tool over the years and many of you have used it from time to time to report your power outages.  But, as time has passed, technology has changed and it has become necessary to replace our existing system with a newer one.  The new system, in conjunction with a new telephone system and an expanded number of incoming phone lines, will help us take more power outage calls and to take them much more efficiently.

The new automated outage reporting system will sound different than the old one, but will work much the same.  However, there are some changes that are significant: 

1)  You can now report an outage using your 10 digit phone number (assuming we have your current phone number on file), your account number, or your meter number. 

2)  Members with multiple accounts will now be able to use the automated reporting system more easily – you will just need to know the account number or the meter number of the service which is off.

3)  The old system would automatically hand off to a live dispatcher if the member was calling from an old rotary phone and could not make a selection. The new system will not recognize calls from a rotary phone. 

The new system will give callers the option, at the very beginning, to report an outage using the automated system, or to talk to a dispatcher.  If you are simply reporting that your power is off, and you have no additional information to add pertaining to damage to the lines, we encourage you to press 1 and use the automated system.  It is quick, simple, and goes into the same system as an outage reported by a live dispatcher.  If you have damage at your location to report, please bypass the automated system by pressing 0 so you can report the damage to a dispatcher in person.

Tips to make outage reporting easier:

Make sure Ozark Border Electric has your current phone number on file (even if all you have is a cell phone).

Keep the Cooperative’s toll free number close to a phone (or programmed in your cell phone).

Keep your Cooperative account number and meter number close to a phone –

HINT:  keep your portion of one of your bills on the refrigerator – the part you keep has both the meter number and the account number on it.

If you have more than one active account, know which account number serves each location.

If you report an outage after hours, here is what you can expect:

“Thank you for calling Ozark Border Electric Cooperative.  If you would like to report an outage using our automated reporting system, press 1.  To speak to the next available dispatcher, press 0.”

If 0 is chosen - “One moment please – your call is being transferred.”  (You will then be placed in queue to speak to the next available dispatcher.)

If 1 is chosen - “To report your outage using your phone number, press 1. To use your account number, press 2, to use your meter number, press 3.”

If 1 is chosen – “Please enter your 10 digit phone number, starting with the area code.”

“You entered phone number ________ .  If this is correct, press 1.  If not, press 2.”

If 2 is chosen – “Please enter your account number, followed by the pound sign (#).”

“You entered account number ________ .  If this is correct, press 1.  If not, press 2.”

                                    If 3 is chosen – “Please enter your meter number followed by the pound sign (#).”

“You entered meter number ________ .  If this is correct, press 1.  If not, press 2.”

Once your account is identified, by any of the methods above, you will hear:  “The report of your service interruption has been logged.  If you have no further information concerning this outage, you may hang up at any time, or press 2 to continue.”  (You may hang up at this point and your outage will be recorded.)

If 2 is chosen – “The report of your service interruption at [time] on [date] has been logged. Thank you for reporting this service interruption. To return to the main menu, press the star key (*), or you can hang up at any time.”  (You would only return to the main menu if you needed to record another outage or to speak to a dispatcher.)

 

Recent outages have resulted in nearly half of consumers affected using the automated system to report outages. The automated system will not replace our dispatchers. It is simply a tool intended to help us serve you better.