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Con Edison Media Relations
Contact: Michael J. Spall
Telephone: (212) 460-4111

For Immediate Release: November 16, 1998


Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) announced today the inauguration of a single toll-free number for its three million customers to initiate bill inquiries, find out about power interruptions, or report service emergencies. All customers can now call "Con Ed Direct," 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633) around the clock, regardless of where they're located in the company's service area. Customers can even call the new toll-free number while traveling anywhere in the United States and Canada.

"Offering customers one single phone number enables us to direct the call to the first available Customer Service Representative (CSR) best equipped to respond to that customer's specific inquiry, whether it's concerning a billing question or a service emergency," said JoAnn Ryan, Con Edison's general manager of customer assistance.

The main feature of the new system is Automatic Call Distribution (ACD). This state-of-the-art telecommunications technology can direct a call from a Spanish-speaking customer, for example, to a Spanish-speaking CSR; a call about a Westchester County power interruption to a specific Westchester County outage message; or a call concerning our Retail Choice Program to the Retail Choice hotline.

The company established the toll-free system to provide ever-increasing levels of service to its customers. The new toll-free number will appear at the top of customers' bills starting this week.

ACD allows all five customer call centers, located throughout Con Edison's service territory, to act as one. CSRs will have real-time information about callers' needs. The result is quicker customer response with better information and greater utilization of company resources.

Con Edison is one of the nation's largest utility companies, with more than $7 billion in annual revenues and approximately $15 billion in assets. The company, a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York.

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