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CRC and Plumas-Sierra REC Join Forces when Co-op’s Phone System Fails

Cooperative Response Center, Inc. (CRC) prides itself on being there when our members need us the most, to serve as a seamless extension of their offices. For one new CRC member, the benefit of a partnership with CRC was experienced firsthand when their phone system failed shortly after cutting over to CRC’s services.

CRC offers utilities across the country seamless contact center and alarm monitoring solutions, including call management, line crew dispatch, AMI/CIS/OMS integration, CRCLink® outage communication software, and alarm monitoring. CRC also offers outage texting services, video monitoring of substations and recently implemented a Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance solution which utilizes live agents for billing calls. From outage calls to billing calls, disconnects to emergency locates and more, CRC is there for its membership 24/7/365. By partnering with CRC, members find peace of mind as well as a cost-effective solution to their call handling needs.

Plumas-Sierra REC, a distribution cooperative in Portola, Calif., serving nearly 8,000 members in the northeastern areas of northern California and the northwestern portion of Nevada, cut over to CRC’s contact center dispatch services on August 6. Just five days later, the cooperative experienced a devastating turn of events – its phone switch failed.

“The equipment we were using was a bit antiquated, so bringing the phones back up took a lot of time due to the fact we had to get new hardware and upgrade our software,” said Corby Erwin, member and energy services manager at Plumas-Sierra REC. Ultimately, the phone system took over seven weeks to replace.

“When we discovered that the outage with our phones was going to take some time to resolve, we had AT&T forward our numbers directly to CRC so that our members could speak with a representative and be able to report outages,” Erwin explained. “CRC was extremely helpful and more than willing to jump in and take all of our calls 24/7 to keep us up and running and provide our members with good customer service.”

When it came to dispatching line crews, Plumas-Sierra REC modified their dispatching process to have CRC dispatch around the clock.

“It worked really well,” Erwin said. “Our crews have had a lot of good things to say about CRC and their dispatchers’ professionalism and knowledge.”

On October 1, Plumas-Sierra REC’s new phone system was set up and they were able to revert their daytime calls back to the office easily.

“I don’t know what we would have done without CRC,” Erwin said of the timeframe their phone system was out of order. “We would have been dead in the water with no way for our members to reach us to report an outage or anything else. Thank you to everyone at CRC for being so easy to work with and so professional.”

About CRC
CRC is a nationwide, cooperatively owned, 24/7 contact center and alarm monitoring center. Founded in 1992, CRC has steadily increased the size and scope of its operation with offices in Austin, Minn., Dunlap, Tenn., and Abilene, Texas. CRC serves over 380 members and associate members in 44 states, representing over 6.4 million consumers. Visit CRC on the web at

For more information about CRC’s services, contact Scott Dittrich, regional business manager, at 800-892-1578, ext. 2135, or

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Cooperative Response Center, Inc.
2000 8th Street NW
Austin, MN 55912

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