Maine Water to close Rockport customer service operations
Rockport — Maine Water has announced plans to consolidate its customer service operations and other corporate support functions in Maine.
Maine Water serves about 32,000 customers in the state, and about half live in the Biddeford–Saco area and were customers of the Biddeford & Saco Water Company. Biddeford & Saco Water was legally merged into Maine Water earlier this year and the company is making changes to most effectively integrate the operations and maximize the service to customers.
The company has had two separate customer service operations in Biddeford and in Rockport. Maine Water’s plans call for the company leadership team and the engineering, financial and technical personnel and customer service staff currently based in Rockport to relocate to the Biddeford area. Judy Wallingford, Maine Water’s president noted, “The company will still maintain its commitments to the customers and communities throughout the 21 service towns, with local management contacts readily available and the management team only a phone call away.”
Pam Blackman, who has led the customer service team in Rockport, has been promoted to Customer Service Manager to lead the delivery of customer service across the company.
“We felt it was in the best interest of our customers to consolidate our customer service team in the area where we have the highest concentration of customers. This allows us to operate most efficiently, share staff and resources, and maximize the benefits of our IT systems and other support services to provide the service our customers have come to expect in a cost effective way," Blackman said.
All of Maine Water’s customer service employees are being offered comparable positions in the Biddeford area with no impact on their wages. Further, after six months, office customer service employees will be eligible for telecommuting.
Wallingford added, “We value our employees and the service they provide to our customers. That’s why we have announced the change well in advance and will assist them in the transition and will make telecommuting available after employees have established themselves in the new office. We are hoping to retain these valued employees and that they will make the transition.”
The change will mean that walk in payments will no longer be accepted in the Rockport office but customers’ have the option to pay at either Rockland or Camden Hannaford or any Bangor Savings Bank in the state. Payment by mail or the enhanced online bill payment features at mainewater.com are still available.
The Rockport location also includes the Mirror Lake treatment facility, the field service and distribution system crew, and the certified laboratory. The local employees involved in these functions will continue to be based in that office.
In addition to the central office customer service function, other administrative area such as engineering, financial and technical personnel will also be located in the Biddeford area, where they will support all Maine Water systems throughout the state.