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Don't charge for credit card payments, adviser tells utility audience

From the June 25, 2013 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published June 25, 2013

By Jeanne LaBella
Sr. Vice President, Publishing
Utilities should rethink policies to levy a service fee on customers who pay their electric bills with a credit card, said Steve Vandermeer, senior vice president, planning and marketing, Hometown Connections. He spoke June 19 at a breakout session titled "10 Ideas for Great Customer Service" at the APPA National Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Some in the audience noted that municipal or other policies often require utilities to pass along a credit card service fee to customers.  But the cost of accepting a credit card might be lower than the cost of hiring a staff of customer service representatives to accept in-person payments, Vandermeer noted. Utilities should offer a range of payment options to customers to enhance convenience, he said.

Vandermeer discussed the topic with LeAnne Nienhuis, APPA education and customer programs manager, in a video interview immediately after the conference session.


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Senior Vice President, Publishing 
Jeanne Wickline LaBella

Editorial Director
Robert Varela

Editor, Public Power Daily
Jeannine Anderson

Communications Assistant
Fallon W. Forbush

Manager, Integrated Media 
David L. Blaylock

Integrated Media Editor 
Laura D’Alessandro