Text Messaging FAQ

Text us or download the SMECO 24/7 mobile app to report your outage, pay your bill, and check our outage map from your smart phone.

Basics:

  • What is SMECO 24/7? SMECO 24/7 is a text messaging service that enables customers to receive billing and payment messages, report outages, receive power restoration updates, and request outage status updates. The service is available free to all SMECO customers. Standard message and data rates may apply through your carrier.
  • How often will I receive text messages? The frequency of text messages is based on the number of outages affecting your property or registered accounts. After reporting an outage via text, you will receive at least two more messages related to that outage: one with an estimated time of restoration (ETR), and one when your power is restored. If your ETR changes significantly while your power is out, you will receive another text with the updated ETR. You may also receive monthly billing and payment messages for each of your SMECO accounts.
  • Are there fees for this service? While SMECO does not charge for SMECO 24/7, standard messaging and data rates may apply based on your carrier and mobile phone plan. SMECO 24/7 works with most major mobile phone carriers.
  • Can I register for SMECO 24/7 with any mobile carrier? SMECO 24/7 is supported by major mobile phone carriers; however, there are some that are not currently supported. If you attempt to register and your message fails, please determine if your carrier supports texting to short codes before trying again.
  • Which carriers or text service providers support the SMECO 24/7 text message service?
    • Major Carriers: AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, Alltel, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile.
    • Minor Carriers: Alaska Communications Systems (ACS), Appalachian Wireless (EKN), Bluegrass Cellular, Cellular One of East Central IL (ECIT), Cellular One of Northeast Pennsylvania, Cincinnati Bell Wireless, Cricket, Coral Wireless (Mobi PCS), COX, Cross, Element Mobile (Flat Wireless), Epic Touch (Elkhart Telephone), GCI, Golden State, Hawkeye (Chat Mobility), Hawkeye (NW Missouri), Illinois Valley Cellular, Inland Cellular, iWireless (Iowa Wireless), Keystone Wireless (Immix Wireless/PC Man), Mosaic (Consolidated or CTC Telecom), Nex-Tech Wireless, NTelos, Panhandle Communications, Pioneer, Plateau (Texas RSA 3 Ltd), Revol, RINA, Simmetry (TMP Corporation), Thumb Cellular, Union Wireless, United Wireless, Viaero Wireless, and West Central (WCC or 5 Star Wireless), Cellcom, CSpire Wireless.

Registration:

  • Can I register for SMECO 24/7 for more than one property or account? Yes, you may register multiple properties or accounts to one cell phone number. For each account, text REG to 76326 (SMECO). You will receive a text message asking for the five-digit ZIP code associated with the account. Once you have provided all required information, you will receive a registration confirmation text. We will then text you a list of your registered accounts to select from when you text OUT to report your outage. You can use the nickname option (text NICK to 76326) to assign easy-to-remember nicknames to each account.
  • Can I register my property to more than one mobile phone number? Yes, you can register more than one mobile phone number for a single property or account. Text REG to 76326 (SMECO) from each mobile phone and register using the account number or phone number associated with the account. Each registered mobile phone associated with an account will receive updates once an outage has been reported for that account.
  • How will I know that the enrollment was successful? You will receive a text message confirming your completed registration with SMECO 24/7.
  • What if I want to temporarily stop receiving outage notifications? To temporarily stop receiving notifications, text PAUSE to 76326 (SMECO):
    • You will receive a text message confirming that you successfully paused the notifications.
    • To begin receiving the notifications again, text RESUME to 76326 (SMECO), and you will be prompted for confirmation.
  • How do I cancel SMECO 24/7 text notifications? Text STOP to 76326 (SMECO) from the mobile phone for which you want to cancel your registration. You will receive a message that asks you to choose which notifications to stop. Once you have cancelled, you will receive a confirmation text message. If you would like to re-register, text REG to 76326 (SMECO).
  • Whom can I contact if I need help registering for SMECO 24/7? Please call 1-888-440-3311 to get assistance with your SMECO 24/7 registration.

Using Text Messaging:

  • What if I change my mobile phone number and want to remain enrolled in SMECO 24/7? Text REG (register) to 76326 (SMECO) from your new mobile phone and follow the instructions to register your new phone number for the service.
  • If I move from an account that is registered for SMECO 24/7, do I need to cancel or re-register? Once your account is closed, text STOP to 76326 (SMECO). If you are registered for more than one account, you will be prompted to select the account you wish to cancel. If your new address is located in SMECO's service area, please text REG to 76326 (SMECO) and follow the instructions to re-register for SMECO 24/7 with your new account.
  • Why did I receive a message that my estimated time of restoration (ETR) is not available? An estimated time of restoration (ETR) will not be provided until after a crew has arrived on site and assessed the damage. After the crew determines how long repairs will take, the ETR will be displayed on SMECO's outage map and you will receive a text message with an ETR update. During major storm events or other times when there is a high volume of outages, the ETR may not immediately be available when the outage is reported. If an ETR becomes available, you will automatically receive a text message with that information. You can also visit our outage map to view the number of outages and the ETR for your area. It is important to remember that we attempt to estimate the time of restoration to allow you to plan and safely await restoration, but an ETR is only an estimate. We may have to update the estimate based on a number of factors, such as evaluation of damage from an on-site crew, changing weather conditions, additional problems that occur, or any specialty crews or equipment needed for repairs once the damage is assessed. We do our best to keep you aware of updated information.
  • If my estimated time of restoration (ETR) has passed and I am still without power, do I need to text OUT again? You do not need to text OUT again. While the estimated time of restoration (ETR) may have passed, our crews are still working to restore your power. We may have to update the estimate based on a number of factors, such as evaluation of damage from an on-site crew, changing weather conditions, additional problems that occur, or any specialty crews or equipment needed for repairs once the damage is assessed. While we do our best to keep the ETR and other information updated, our first priority is getting your power back on. You will receive a text message with an ETR update, or you can text STAT to 76326 (SMECO) at any time to see your latest ETR. You will receive a text when your power is restored. If you receive a message indicating that your power has been restored but you are still without power, please check your property's circuit breakers and, if necessary, report the outage again by texting OUT to 76326 (SMECO). You can also visit SMECO's outage map to view the number of outages and the ETR for your area if available.
  • Can I report an outage via text if I see power lines down? No, you can only report an outage via text for registered accounts. Please call 911 to report emergencies, such as downed power lines.
  • What types of power outages are appropriate to report to SMECO via text message? You can use SMECO 24/7 to report an outage when the power is completely out at the property or account you have registered; you may also report a partial outage if only part of the property is out of power. Please check the property's circuit breakers before reporting your outage to ensure that you do not have a blown circuit that can be reset. It is not necessary to report lights that flicker once or twice, as the occasional flickering of lights is a result of SMECO's electric system working as designed to prevent damage during storms and other potential outage events. If there is visible damage to SMECO's electric system, you must call 1-888-440-3311 to report the damage to SMECO. In case of an emergency, such as downed power lines, you may call 911.
  • Why am I receiving unsolicited messages? When you register for SMECO 24/7 you agree to receive SMS alerts and notifications on your mobile telecommunications device from SMECO for purposes of providing you notices and alerts regarding your account. In the event of a power outage, SMECO may send unsolicited text messages regarding billing and payment notices, power outages, outage updates, including estimated time of restoration (ETR), and power restoration notices. If you no longer want to receive unsolicited messages from SMECO, text PAUSE to 76326 to temporarily stop Proactive Outage Notifications. You can text RESUME to 76326 at any time to start Proactive Outage Notifications again.

Billing and Payment Notifications:

  • What is a "Wallet?" A wallet is where your payment method is stored. You create a wallet, in our secure website, by entering your credit card or checking account information. To pay by text, each account must have its own wallet.
  • When I create my wallet, is there a way to create more than one? To pay by text each account must have its own wallet. Wallets are set up individually.
  • How long will it take for my balance to update? Payments are processed after 7 p.m. on business days. Payments made after that time will be processed after 7 p.m. the next business day.
  • Can I make a partial payment? The text to pay feature can only be used to pay the entire account balance. Please utilize one of our other payment methods to make a partial payment. You may make a payment online without logging in using Pay My Bill or you may log in to manage your account.
  • Can I pay more than one bill at a time? For security reasons, you can only make a payment on one account at a time when using pay by text.
  • If I have a past due account, will making a payment via text prevent me from being disconnected? Past due accounts are blocked from paying by text. Please contact SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 to speak with a contact center representative.

Troubleshooting

  • I tried to register for SMECO 24/7 but received a message saying "try again later." How long should I wait until I try to register again? Please check back later the same day and try to register again. If you still experience a registration error, please call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 to report your issue, so we can investigate the matter and find a solution.
  • What if the registration address that is returned in the text message does not match my actual address? Please call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 to report your issue, so we can investigate the matter and find a solution. When an address is more than 23 characters, you may see an abbreviated address of the first 10 characters and the last 10 characters. For example, "12345 Southern Maryland Cooperative Pl" may appear as "12345 Sout…erative Pl."
  • What if my ZIP Code is correct but I receive a registration error stating that my ZIP Code/Account number does not match? Please call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 to report your issue, so we can investigate the matter and find a solution.
  • Why didn't I receive a registration confirmation text message? There are a few different reasons why a user may not receive a registration text message.
    • Unsupported mobile carrier - At this time, SMECO's text messaging service is supported by major mobile phone carriers and most others. We are continually looking for ways to enhance SMECO's text messaging service and anticipate adding more mobile carriers in the future.
    • Text messaging blocked - If your mobile carrier is supported, you may have a setting on your mobile phone's account that is blocking incoming text messages. Please contact your mobile provider to ensure that text messaging is enabled.
    • Short code messaging blocked - If your mobile carrier is supported, you may have a setting turned on for your phone's account that is blocking short code messages. Short code messages are any messages that come from a short number such as 76326 (SMECO). Please contact your mobile carrier to change your account setting to allow short code messaging.
  • What do I do if I did not receive a confirmation text message after registering? Please call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 to report your issue, so we can investigate the matter and find a solution.
  • I reported my outage online and requested a callback. Why didn't I receive a callback? If you report your outage through SMECO 24/7 via text message—after you have reported your outage online—the text message report overwrites the online report and your callback number is cleared from our system. You will receive a POWER RESTORED notification via text message in place of an automated call. If you want to receive a callback, please call SMECO at 1-888-440-3311 or go online to use the outage reporting system and provide your callback number again.
  • What if my power is restored, but I haven't received a notification text message? No action is required on your part. There may be a delay between when your power is restored and when a power restoration text message is sent. There are a number of factors that can contribute to this occurrence, such as the scale of restoration efforts or the ability of field technicians to access systems to complete the outage ticket. The power restoration message is intended to notify you that power was restored in the event that you are not at the registered property that experienced the outage.
  • My neighbor reported his power outage to SMECO and I'm an affected customer, but when I text STAT to 76326 (SMECO) it shows my account as ON. You may receive a message that says ON, OFF, or NO KNOWN OUTAGE. Even though your neighbor's power is out and they have reported the outage, SMECO is not aware that your power is also out, unless someone reports the outage for your account. Please text OUT to 76326 (SMECO) to report your outage. After your outage is reported you can text STAT to 76326 (SMECO) to see your account as OFF.
  • What if I received a text message stating my power has been restored, but my lights are still not coming on? Please first check the circuit breaker at the property. If power is still not restored after checking the breaker, either text OUT again to 76326 (SMECO) or call 1-877-747-6326 to report the outage again. Additional damage may exist at your location that SMECO was not previously aware of when making the original repairs. Texting OUT again notifies SMECO that additional repairs may be required. It is important to remember that if there is visible damage to SMECO's electric system, such as damage to the electric meter or transformer, you must call 1-888-440-3311 to report the damage to a SMECO customer service representative. In case of emergency, like downed power lines, call 911 before calling SMECO.

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