Missouri Public Service Commission rules KCP&L in violation of rules

KCP&L

The Missouri Public Service Commission has determined Kansas City Power & Light Company (KCP&L) and KCP&L-Greater Missouri Operations Company (GMO) violated Commission rules by making customer-specific information available to a third-party, Allconnect, Inc. (Allconnect) without the consent of their customers.

The Public Service Commission Staff filed a complaint against the two electric companies on May 20, 2015, alleging that the transfer of customer information was occurring without customer consent in violation of Commission rules.

The Commission found that the transfer of customer-specific information occurred when new customers were placing Missouri residential electric service orders or existing customers were placing transfer service orders.  KCP&L and GMO customer service representatives instruct individuals requesting these services to remain on the line so that their calls could be transferred to an Allconnect customer service representative who would provide a confirmation number regarding their start service order, verify the accuracy of the customer information provided and help connect them to other services for their home.

Once the caller was transferred to an Allconnect representative, Allconnect offered customers other services such as household products and services (such as phone, wireless, cable TV, satellite TV, high-speed internet and home security systems), as well as promotions such as movers programs and coupons.

“If KCP&L and GMO wish to continue their contractual relationship with Allconnect by transferring customer calls and related information, they must ensure that customers understand that they have the option to transfer to Allconnect; that they can complete their business with KCP&L or GMO without having to transfer to Allconnect; and that Allconnect is a third-party that offers services separate and apart from the services offered by the utility,” said the Commission.  “KCP&L and GMO will need to modify the script used by their customer service representatives regarding the proposed transfer to Allconnect to obtain the informed customer consent.”

In addition to changing the script, the Commission said KCP&L and GMO need to modify how they account for the revenues and expenses associated with the Allconnect relationship.  Revenue and expense, the Commission said, should be treated as regulated revenue and expense and brought “above the line” so they may be considered when the companies’ rates are set in a general rate case.

During proceedings before the Commission, KCP&L and GMO indicated a willingness to change the Allconnect program.