PSC holds information stop in Vicksburg

Published 2:00 pm Friday, April 1, 2016

What does the Public Service Commission do?

If you ask Public Service Commissioner for the Central District Cecil Brown, he’ll tell you most people don’t really know.

Thursday, he made the trip to Vicksburg to speak to public officials and other citizens as the Vicksburg Senior Center to talk about his job and how his office could help the people of Vicksburg.

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“The Public Service Commission regulates utilities,” he said. “If you’ve got electric power or gas or water, those kinds of things, we’re the regulator.”

If one of these companies wants to raise their rates, they’d have to go through the public service commissioner, Brown said.

“Most of the time if you have a problem with your electric service, say it’s Entergy, and you call and you just can’t get it worked out,” he said. “Your power’s not on and they say it’s going to be on, you can call us. We have consumer service specialists who handle situations like that.”

If there’s a billing issue, consumer service specialists can help work out a payment plan or some other sort of arrangement to prevent customers from having service interrupted when they’re unable to pay their bills.

The Public Service Commission is also responsible for the No Call List.

“You get all of these calls trying to sell you stuff, trying to say you did this and you did that and you need to send them a check or whatever it might be,” he said. “We are the people who manage that list.”

Currently, there is a bill going through the legislature that would allow cell phones to be added to the No Call List, Brown said.

“One of the biggest problems we have with phones now is people calling trying to get you to sign up with a new telephone company,” he said. “Don’t do that.”

Brown said people should also be aware the IRS will never call and ask you for money, referring to another popular scam.

Brown’s Chief Policy Advisor added when people get unwanted calls they should immediately hang up the phone.

“They want you to push various buttons: nine to be removed from the call list, another number to talk to someone,” he said. “Don’t push anything. If you just hang up that lets them know this may not be an active number. If you push something, they’ll know it’s an active number and they’ll keep trying to reach you.”

Brown agreed. “Just don’t talk to those people,” he added.

There are several programs through utility companies designed to help consumers save money that Brown’s office can help set citizens up with if they are interested.

“There are a lot of programs out there that can help you,” he said. “That’s what we’re here for is to help you figure out what’s out there for you.”

For more information about Public Service Commission, call 601-961-5430 or email