All other customer service functions unaffected
PHOENIX, Aug. 27, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The third-party vendor that provides and operates EPCOR USA’s (EPCOR USA) customer telephone system has reported a ransomware attack. While there is no indication to date that customer data has been compromised, customer phone services are operating below normal capacity and bill payment by phone is currently unavailable.
EPCOR USA’s phone system vendor, Faneuil, Inc., notified EPCOR USA of a cyberattack on Faneuil’s telephone system August 18. EPCOR USA immediately severed all connections between Faneuil and EPCOR USA’s customer account system. This disconnection has resulted in long wait times for U.S. customers calling for general customer support and the pay-by-phone option is currently unavailable. As well, some customer service agents may not have full access to customer accounts at this time.
EPCOR USA has been communicating around the clock with Faneuil, Inc. to determine when the system will be restored to normal. The issue was initially expected to be resolved within a short period of time. However, as of August 27, EPCOR USA has not reconnected to Faneuil and Faneuil continues its work to ensure that any connection to Faneuil’s system will be secure and protected. Until that time, EPCOR USA will continue to redirect calls coming in to its 1-800-383-0834 customer service number to a secondary phone system.
How this impacts customers
EPCOR’s water, wastewater and natural gas services are not impacted in any way, in the US or Canada. The vendor does not provide any Canadian customer services, so there are no impacts to Canadian customer data or service levels. Until further notice, the company is suspending all late fees and service disconnections for late payment in its US service areas. Customers can still pay bills securely online through EPCOR’s customer account portal – it is completely separate and has not been impacted by the ransomware attack. EPCOR’s Customer Care team can still turn services on and off, take reports of maintenance issues, respond to emergencies, and answer general questions. Accounts scheduled to be paid through AutoPay between August 21 and 26 were delayed several days to ensure customer protection.
Although there is no indication at this time that any personal customer data was breached, as an additional layer of security the company also recommends that EPCOR USA customers consider changing their passwords on their financial accounts and look over recent statements for any unauthorized activity.
EPCOR USA’s Director of Customer Operations Sarah Skaggs said, “We know that our phone system vendor’s ransomware incident is causing concern, frustration and inconvenience for our customers. We’re committed to protecting your data and providing updates as we receive more answers from the vendor. In the meantime, we’re taking all of the steps necessary to keep customer information secure and working with our vendor around the clock to restore customer phone services as quickly as possible to the level of quality and security our customers expect.”
Best ways to reach EPCOR USA
EPCOR USA’s Customer Care phone line remains open at 1-800-383-0834 – press 3 or 4 to reach a live agent. Customers should expect potentially long wait times. Wait times may be longest between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
The company encourages customers to reach out by email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, depending on what service they receive from EPCOR – or via social media:
Customers can find current updates and resources at www.epcor.com.
For further information, please contact:
Director, Public Affairs
O 623.445.2424 | C 602.390.5662 | email@example.com
About EPCOR USA
EPCOR is among the largest private utilities in the Southwest and the largest in Arizona, providing water, wastewater and natural gas service to approximately 780,000 people across 42 communities and 18 counties in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. With corporate offices in Phoenix, EPCOR employs approximately 425 people.