Director for Consumer Assistance and Safety
Derek Davidson is Director of Consumer Assistance Division of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Steve Mitnick is Editor-in-Chief of Public Utilities Fortnightly and President of Lines Up, Inc.
PUF: Describe what you do.
Derek Davidson: My division deals with the customer-facing activities for the Commission.
Typically, the most obvious customer facing is the consumer services section, and that section deals with customer questions and issues.
We get a lot more questions than we do complaints, such as providing guidance on competitive electricity providers, how do I choose one because we have retail choice here. What we're dealing with now and have been for the past year is a lot of calls relating to in-person solicitation or door-to-door sales for electricity.
We have a group of seven consumer assistance specialists who field calls from the public. The vast majority of our customer contacts come through our consumer hotline. We also receive a fair number of web inquiries and sometimes receive written letters. People also have questions about utility issues, but a lot of our general questions relate to retail electricity sales.