Are your policies up-to-date?

A recent listserv post started me thinking about policies and policy manuals, in particular.

The question on the listserv asked about charging a returned check fee for a failed ACH payment. This seems like an easy answer – or is it?

If your policy manual refers to a “returned check fee”, could your customer claim you don’t have the right to charge a fee for an ACH payment that was returned, since it’s not technically a “check”?

Changing times

The above illustration is a great example of how things are changing. If your policy manual was last updated before you started accepting echecks online, it’s probably time to review your manual and update it, if necessary.

What else has changed?

Have you implemented an AMI system since your policy manual was last updated? As a result, should you review the meter tampering or leak adjustment sections?

Have you updated your security deposit amounts since your policy manual was last updated? Have you updated your fee schedule? Or implemented new fees?

Have you implemented a convenience fee or, better yet, decided accepting credit cards is a cost of doing business and discontinued your convenience fee?

Easy to overlook

With all you have going on in your office, it’s easy to forget about a tedious task like updating your policy manual. But, it’s an important part of operating your utility and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Quick poll

Please take a minute to take this quick poll about how up-to-date your policy manual is.

Does your policy manual need updating?

This past year, in addition to business reviews, which are my primary focus, I’ve helped utilities update their policy manuals. If your policy manual is out-of-date or, worse yet, non-existent, please give me a call at 919-673-4050, or email me at to find out how I could help you remedy that.

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© 2024 Gary Sanders


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