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SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

Multilingual Griping

October 12, 1986|NANCY RIVERA

You may still have to watch your language when you complain about your electric bill. But now, at least, you get more choice. Southern California Edison has launched a telephone service for an estimated 50,000 customers who speak certain Asian languages.

Since Monday, Edison customer- service employees have been manning special toll-free telephone lines to help people who speak Chinese (either Mandarin or Cantonese), Vietnamese or Khmer, which is spoken in Cambodia.

The customer-service employees answer questions about electric bills and available services and handle requests for turning electricity on or off. Calls from Spanish-language customers are handled by bilingual customer-service employees in each Edison office.

"It's in recognition of the growing Asian-language population in our area," an Edison spokesman said. Edison has about 50,000 Asian-language customers in the 213, 714 and 818 area codes, where the special lines will be available, he said.

The telephone numbers are: Chinese (800) 843-8343, Vietnamese (800) 327-3031 and Khmer (800) 843-1309. The lines are in operation from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on holidays.

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