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What Customers Are Saying: Atmos Energy Delivers Superior Service

Atmos Energy employees strive to provide superior service to our customers, and we always love to hear back from our customers when they appreciate the job we're doing. We've posted a few of the messages from customers and other notable stories.

If you have a story of superior service you would like to share, click here.

Two Mississippi Division employees help car crash victim

FLOWOOD, Mississippi -- While on their way to work, Atmos Energy employees Charles Jenkins and Robert Perkins stopped to aid a car crash victim. A fellow motorist flagged them down and explained that he saw a woman suddenly swerve off the road and tumble into a concrete culvert.

Charles Jenkins

"The car was upside down. You couldn't tell anyone was in the vehicle; it was mangled and on fire. I really thought we were going to find a dead body but we found a woman, slumped behind the steering wheel," said Jenkins. "We sprayed the vehicle with fire extinguishers twice to put the fire out."

When city crews arrived on the scene they wanted to pull the woman out of the car immediately. But as Perkins explained,

Robert Perkins

"We had training for this kind of emergency and told everyone that trying to move her might make the injuries worse."

A few days later Perkins visited the lady in the hospital.

"She was in a full body cast and a neck brace and was sleeping, so I didn't get to talk with her," he said. The woman is expected to fully recover.

For their decisive action, Robert Perkins and Charles Jenkins received the Southern Gas Association Meritorious Award at the SGA Safety and Health Conference in Charlotte on June 25.

A Girl Scout Troup Leader and Atmos customer in Kansas wrote this letter about Jim Park: "While working in Olathe, Mr. Park found a check that was made out to our Girl Scout troop. It makes me feel good to know that there are still kind and honest people in the world, and I wanted you to know that your employee, James Park, is one of them."

Senior Service Technician Mark Leavell showed his commitment to superior customer service when he recently reconnected service for an elderly customer in Kentucky. She said she was very grateful to him for cleaning out her furnace so the pilot could get turned on. Her floor furnace badly needed cleaning however she could not clean it due to her osteoporosis and could not afford to hire someone to clean it. Mark Leavell realized that without the cleaning, the heat could not be turned on and did it for her.

Operations Assistant Wanda Hinson received an appreciation card from a Columbus, Ga. customer: "Thank you for taking the time to assist me recently with my gas bill issues. You were terrific! The past couple of years have been trying and your helping me with this was one of the few things that had a GOOD ending."

A Mid-Tex Division customer sent a letter regarding Senior Service Technician James Sisk: "I recently received a bill that was three times larger than it has ever been. A customer service woman said she would send a service man out to my house to check it out. He called before he came to my house and he was outstanding: very pleasant and friendly. When I told him what the problem was, he said that more than likely it was a misread on my meter. Not only did he put in a new meter, he also took the time to explain what had happened. James Sisk deserves a big pat on the back. Your company has a true shining star on the payroll."

Construction Operator serving in Iraq

Patrick Stockwell, a Mid-Tex Division Construction Operator who is currently serving in Iraq, sent Mid-Tex Division's Round Rock office a note: "Thank you so very much for all that you have done for me and my wife. You never cease to amaze me: the boxes of goodies, the letters and moving my wife not once but twice. Every time I get a box, my fellow soldiers and civilians stand around to see what you have done for me. They are amazed. I just received two boxes from the Waco Customer Contact Center full of books and goodies. I don't even know these people and they are sending me boxes and cards for my birthday. This is the true meaning of a great company. I am very proud to be an employee of Atmos Energy Round Rock and to be an American soldier."

A Mississippi couple praised Operations Manager Johnnie Butler in a letter stating: "[We] really appreciate you taking such good care of us Tuesday night. We both realize how blessed we were not to have a tragedy. You certainly went above and beyond your job duties by coming to our home at night. We are also thankful to (Senior Service Technician) Butch Sandlin, who just would not leave until he was certain we were not in any danger. Atmos Energy is certainly in wonderful hands."

An eight grader at a middle school in Dallas wrote Manager of Public Affairs Susan Harris a note thanking Harris for her presentation to the students entitled Why You Should Stay in School: "This letter is to the woman that inspired us to stay in school. I would like to thank you because your discussion made me see how hard life is without education. This program showed us that you can really be someone in life if you try; it's all up to us."

The United Way director in Murfreesboro, Tenn. noted: "I just can't tell you and the Atmos team (Danny Bertotti, Kenny Green, Fred Neu and James Robbins) how much I appreciated all your work in putting on Wednesday's lunch for our kickoff meeting for the directors of all the United Way-funded agencies. Everyone had a fantastic time and loved your cooking on the big Atmos Energy grill."

The Mississippi division received a note from a customer: "After receiving an extremely high gas bill last week, the customer representative at the toll free number suggested a gas leak check by a technician. Dan Lindsey was the technician assigned to make the check. How fortunate we were to have Dan. He was very professional, mannerly, informative and just plain nice. He explained what he was doing and why. When he left, we felt completely satisfied that there was no gas leak or danger to our home. Dan is an excellent representative for your company."

It is my pleasure to inform you that you will be featured on Atmos Energy's Superior Service website. We selected your story because it truly embodies the commitment Atmos Energy employees have to our customers and the communities where we work and live. We really appreciate your customer service spirit. Please visit our Superior Service page at http://www.atmosenergy.com/about/superior.html to view your story. Also, be sure to forward this link to your supervisor so that he or she is aware of your outstanding service. Congratulations on this honor, well done!

Atmos Energy technician saves 5 near Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Virginia -- Atmos Energy senior service technician Kenny Compton was at home on Sunday morning, Aug. 19, 2007, when he received a call about a possible carbon-monoxide leak at an apartment building near the Virginia Tech campus.

The call came on the same day Virginia Tech dedicated a memorial to the 32 people killed by a gunman in April.

Compton soon arrived at the three-story building and inspected the row of gas meters. He saw that one meter was turning on the warm summer morning.

After getting no answer, Compton had the apartment manager open the door. He will never forget what he saw when he opened the nearest bedroom door.

"A girl was lying in her bed with her eyes open but she was unconscious," said Compton. "I thought she was dead. I told the apartment manager to call 911."

Compton soon discovered there were five female students in the four bedroom apartment, all unconscious. Compton and others carried them outside to fresh air. Two were careflighted to Charlottesville for treatment. All were hospitalized for days in hyperbaric chambers where pure, pressurized oxygen was forced into tissues and blood. The five, including two Virginia Tech cheerleaders, have since recovered.

Compton's supervisor, Mike Vallet, said: "I am proud of Kenny for his brave and heroic deed. Without Kenny's quick actions, these five girls might not be here today."

Operations Assistant Pam Harris received a dozen red roses from a customer in Columbus, Ga. The note said: "Thank you for calling and keeping me informed about my credit balance refund. I have been dealing with utilities in this area for over 40 years and your service is the best of any."

A customer in Texas sent an e-mail to the Customer Contact Center in Waco: "We scheduled a disconnect pending a close on the sale of our house in Mesquite. The close did not occur as scheduled. Atmos Energy worked with us to get the service re-connected... I recently arranged for the ‘real' disconnect. Once again, I experienced absolutely awesome service. The Atmos representatives are far superior in every aspect of customer service."

Customer Service Vice President Jeff Hardgrave received this letter from a customer in Southaven, Miss.: "Every time I call Atmos to pay my bill, they are extremely pleasant. I have called at night, in the morning and in the afternoon and have received the same good service every time… It's nice to call and speak with pleasant people. Thank you."

A Denton, Texas, customer said: "Everyone I have spoken to in the Waco Call Center has been friendly, courteous, and extremely helpful. They have taken extra steps to make sure everything is set up correctly and really floored me with their level of customer service. I especially thank (agent) Richard Maker, who helped me set up my account as a new customer. He gets top marks on customer satisfaction!"

A customer in Keokuk, Iowa, wrote to the Amarillo Customer Contact Center: "Today, I spoke to a representative named Juanita Gonzalez, who was beyond fantastic. Juanita was friendly, helpful, humorous, and was able to quickly and efficiently assist me in resolving my issues... This woman exemplified the service aspect of your business to the extreme."

A customer in Amarillo, Texas, sent an e-mail to Service Technician Shane Storrs: "Several months ago, I smelled gas and called. You came over and discovered our pilot light had gone out but was still emitting gas. You made sure it was fixed and then you did something that saved my family's life. You told me to get a plug-in digital carbon monoxide-natural gas detector. This past Friday morning, it went off, flashing the word ‘gas.' The readings in the kitchen were over 900%! Your advice saved our lives."

The Amarillo Customer Contact Center received a note from a customer in Greeley, CO: "I called Sept. 7, regarding a misapplied payment on our account. I spoke with Maria Cortez in customer service. She was friendly, professional, and a pleasure to work with... If every company had a customer service rep as pleasant as Maria, there would be many happy customers."

A Garland, Texas, customer wrote: "Tonight, my husband told me there was no hot water... I phoned the Waco Call Center and spoke with Toni Farmer, a wonderful young woman. She found that our account was apparently mixed up with someone else's... She advised me that someone would be out tonight to turn our gas back on. Toni corrected my name on the account (we are recently married)... Not only does Atmos Energy hire skilled and thoughtful employees, but the company itself is thoughtful!"

Operations Supervisor Roger Oliver received a note from a Fort Worth customer: "David Gonzales and James Thomas arrived on Sept. 5 and worked all afternoon and a part of the evening getting the new line installed. They were courteous and kind. They even put sod down. I have not had such great response by any utility, ever! Your guys are wonderful."

A customer in Colleyville, Texas, sent a note to Customer Support Agent Diane Martinez in Waco: "You are an outstanding employee. You offered me solutions to my problem. That's service! You are the only person that really looked at my record and respected that I have always paid you on time and in full. You are an outstanding lady and I say thank you for treating me the same way you expect to be treated."

Two Mississippi Division employees become heroes

ORANGE BEACH, Alabama -- During some free time at the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Mississippi convention, Atmos Energy employees Patrick Hyde and Jim Bowen were on the beach with families and friends.

Henry Watts, 58, a builder from Natchez and past HBA president, was floating on a boogie board about 150 feet out in the water.

"Jim and I we were just hanging out on the beach, talking" said Hyde, a sales manager in Columbus, Miss. "The red flag was up, meaning the waves were dangerously high. We were watching people swim, when all of a sudden, we saw Mr. Watts go under. He came back up but was floating face down."

Bowen and Hyde quickly swam out to Watts, who was unconscious.

"We turned him over and he was solid purple. We thought he was dead," said Bowen, a sales representative in Greenwood, Miss. "We each got under one of his arms and began dragging him to shore."

Watts was airlifted to an area hospital and survived to tell friends that a big wave slammed him to the ocean floor and he was temporarily paralyzed.

Convention members were later told by the current HBA president, "These two fine men certainly are heroes. They are an inspiration to all of us and we are grateful for their actions."

"A customer from Dry Prong, La., drove to the Pineville office (15 miles) to let us know how much he appreciated the leak response of Art VanAsselberg, "He found a leak on the pilot tube on the water heater and repaired it and got the customer back in service. Mr. Dewitt said Art was courteous, efficient and professional."

"A customer in Franklin, Tenn., sent a letter noting, "Operations assistant, Jean Higgerson, is amazing. I have been through a two-year period of craziness and she has been so extremely kind during this time. She has a heart of gold."

"A Dallas customer wrote to the CEO, "Misfortune visited my home last night when a hit-and-run driver took out my gas meter. The emergency repair crew capped it last night and one of your service technicians, Joseph Hagood, promptly installed a new meter today. Mr. Hagood worked quickly, carefully explaining the process. You should be proud to have him on your team."

"A Council Grove, Kan., customer praised Town Operator Randy Dallke, "During the early morning hours of Dec. 23, we felt Randy went above and beyond the call of duty. He did everything possible to narrow the problem and consistently keep us informed. And as many times as Mr. Dallke had to go to our basement, he took off his shoes each time, even though we told him not to. This was customer service at its best."

"A Louisiana customer sent a note, "Roy Casarez (Amarillo Call Center) was very helpful in getting my gas turned back on for me in Independence, La. My bill was past due and my gas was turned off when it was cold and raining and temperatures were expected to drop that night. I hope Mr. Roy Casarez knows how much his time and effort meant to me and my family in our time of need."

"A Lubbock, Texas customer's letter stated, "Ronnie Salmon was courteous and efficient in changing out my meter and checking for leaks at my home in Lubbock. Ronnie is a good employee and makes me feel good about owning shares of Atmos Energy stock."

"Lynda Dawson, president of the Harris County, Ga., Chamber of Commerce, sent a note to Don Stephens, Doug Gordon and Howard Schaeffer, "Atmos is such a good corporate citizen and friend of the Chamber and we appreciate all you do for us."

"A Jackson, Miss., customer stated, "Paulette Ross (Senior Administrative Assistant) took care of my returned check situation with kindness, appreciation and knowledge. She made several follow up calls to make sure everything was OK. I know I'm not the only one Ms. Ross has gone the extra mile for."

"A Flower Mound, Texas customer e-mailed, "I am in the software business and am highly critical of other Web applications. Just wanted you to know I think the Atmos Energy Web site is the standard by which others should be judged. It works fantastic and I appreciate that."

Kansas employee finds, returns more than $1,200

Colorado-Kansas Division General Plant Operator Pat Black, was recently working in Butler, Mo., when he noticed a sack on the ramp to Highway 71.

"I had just left the Butler office and was on my way to a job site when I saw this money bag from the Sonic Drive-In lying in the road," said Black.

The sack contained more than $1,200 in cash and checks. Black immediately drove to the Sonic and delivered the money.

"They actually had lost two bags of money that morning," said Black, a 24-year employee. "Apparently, the dad owns the business and his two sons help him run it. Leaving the Sonic with the two sacks of money, one of the boys got a phone call and put the two bags of money on the top of the car. After the call, the son drove off. The bags blew off the top of his car. Unfortunately, they did not recover the other bag."

The owner of the business, Miles Umstattd, sent Ron Snyder, Black's supervisor, a letter of appreciation.

When asked what he thought after finding the money, Black said, "All I could think about was how frantic I would be if it was my money, so I took it straight to the owner."

If you have a story of superior service you would like to share, click here.