The last Utility Information Pipeline included a poll asking how utilities handle allowing customers to apply for service online. Here are the results of that poll (clicking on the chart will open a larger image in a new window):
Completing the process in the office
Based on the poll results, most utilities still require the application process to be completed in their office. This is in spite of the fact that a majority of those utilities have an application form which can be downloaded or completed online.
The only poll choice with no votes was “Applicants can complete the application process online, but must come to our office to show ID.”
Three of the responding utilities allow the entire application process to be completed online without requiring the customer to show ID.
Red Flags Rule policy compliance
As we explored in a previous Utility Information Pipeline, guarding against fraud in the application process is one of the key components of a Red Flags Rule policy. In order to verify the customer’s identity, most utilities require applicants to show photo ID and proof of residency (lease agreement or closing documents) for the address at which they are applying for service.
Which leads to the question – if the applicant isn’t required to show photo ID, how do these utilities confirm their identity?
If your utility is one of the three who responded, or if you allow online applications without requiring ID, I would be interested in learning how you comply with your Red Flags Rule policy. Feel free to comment below or send me an e-mail.
Could your office operate more efficiently?
Is your application for service process cumbersome and outdated? Are there other ways your office could become more efficient? If the answer to either question is “yes”, please give me a call at 919-232-2320 or e-mail me at email@example.com to learn how a business review could help you learn how your office could operate more efficiently.
© 2016 Gary Sanders