Duke Energy: Email Address Policy FAIL

by kevin on July 16, 2010

I am in the middle of changing email addresses due to an ISP change.  No big deal, I will just go around to my online accounts and change my address, right?   WRONG!!!

I am changing my address from a .com to a less common .me gTLD.  It is a vanity domain I have which I will always have no matter what ISP I use in the future.   Like a GMail account, only my own domain.

Locally, I have Duke Energy as my electrical utility.  I have had an online account with them for years.  Online invoicing and online billing.   It is great not having to watch the mail for another out-of-band bill to pay.  I went into the online account system and clicked on my profile to change my email address to my new one.   I hit save and the site generated an error.  I tried a couple more times and it kept generating errors.   So, I broke down and fired an email off to customer service.  Here there response:

Dear Mr. Meyer:

Thank you for your e-mail to Duke Energy regarding your e-mail address.

Duke Energy’s online services will only recognize addresses such as .com, .net or .org, .me would not be an acceptable e-mail address which is the reason you are receiving the error message.

I apologize for any inconvenience.

Please reply to this e-mail or contact the Customer Service Department at 1-800-521-2232 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Nicole, Web Support Specialist

I read this and could not believe it.  Duke’s system will only allow three gTLDs for email addresses and if you aren’t using one of those – too bad?   Really??    Why?   I have changed my account everywhere else without a problem:

Bank – Check.
Gas Company – Check
Phone/ISP – Check
TV Service – Check
Retirement Accounts – Check

I emailed back asking if Nicole could change the account for me (is it just the website isn’t configured right).   She said she could not change it either.  FAIL!

If anyone knows why Duke Energy would be the only company (out of about 30 that I changed successfully) that requires .com, .net, or .org addresses, please let me know.  It just makes no sense to me.

I guess I will go back to paper billings until Duke can get their head out of their *$$ and actually understand how the internet works (and these are the people bringing us the smart power grid????)

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