Oxford Utilities will soon have a new text message service for customers

Published 9:00 am Monday, May 13, 2024

Oxford Utility customers will soon be able to receive important information via text message.

Currently, Oxford Utilities communicates with most of its customer base when there is an outage or other event happening through social media.

There will be no cost to customers to receive texts and customers will have the option to opt out of the service if they do not wish to receive the texts.

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Last week, the Oxford Board of Aldermen approved a contract with TextPower – a bulk text message service provider, to provide the text message system to the city.

OU will use TextPower to send text messages in cases of outages, outage restoration, boil water notices, emergency conditions, vegetation management notices, planned outages, broken payment arrangement reminders, water leak notifications, and various other notices.

We’ve been looking for a better way to communicate emergencies and information to our utility customers,” said OU general manager Rob Neely. “TextPower will be a good way to reach out and have that dialogue with customers.”

Neely said if there is a power outage, customers will receive a text that the power is off and then another text if their power has been restored. The system can also be directed to text only those customers in a certain area or who live in a particular area.

The implementation phase should take 30 to 60 days, with the service beginning this summer.

It costs about $5,000 to start the service with a monthly fee of $679 for the first 10,000 text messages, with an additional cost per text over the 10K, ranging from $.17 – $.40, depending on volume.