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Stevens Point, CO, United States

Goetz M.,Hughes and Stuart Marketing
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2013

Customers establish the value of a product by virtue of the price they are willing to pay for it. If the price is less, the customers think that the product might be cheap and low quality products might have been used. But if the price is high, the same thing is vice versa. This is true in case of a water utility also. Most people have no idea what it takes to make quality water, and the same people who complain about high water rates may also be those who purchased bottled water at high rates. The perception of the value of a bottled water is more likely rooted in the fact that most people equate price with water quality. The packaging and marketing might cost the manufacturers more than the water itself, but the perception of value lies in the quality of the water. Source


Goetz M.K.,Hughes and Stuart Marketing
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2013

Experts explore the potential of credit cards in helping water utilities in the US to address the issue of pending utility bills from customers. Credit cards provide the advantage of paying utility bills in installments without putting financial burdens on customers. Utilities are legally permitted to add a processing fee for credit card uses and bill payments, helping them to increase their revenues and returns without troubling their customers. Credit cards have emerged as the most favored mode of bill payment by customers due low financial burden and the facility of making the payments in monthly installments or EMIs. An increasing number of credit card companies from around the country are jointly working with utilities to address the issues of costs associated with providing such services for customers. Source


Goetz M.,Hughes and Stuart Marketing
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2013

Melanie Goetz states that utility rate increases that lack a carefully thought-out process to inform and involve the public can have disastrous consequences similar to a life-threatening situation. These powerful and deadly bursts of water surge seaward with a force derived from incoming waves. The fierce riptide is invisible to swimmers, and the strongest swimmer cannot fight the power of the current's surge away from shore. Utilities need to keep the waters calm by offering their community detailed information before the rate surge. Utilities need to provide notice with solid information, accurate figures, and sound rationales in advance of the tidal forces of public negativity fed by rumors circulating below the surface. Source


Goetz M.,Hughes and Stuart Marketing
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2013

Experts suggest that water utilities need to calculate their rate prices in the form of rounded numbers in place of specific decimal places. The rounded number estimates of rate prices are considered to be more accurate and trustworthy by customers. Scientific evidence reveals that consumers doubt those prices that end in odd numbers. This is the reason for retail prices being rounded to make them more accurate and trustworthy for customers. Experts suggest that water utilities in the US need to avoid the practice of communicating their rates prices in specific decimal places and rely on rounding them off so that they are accurate and accepted by customers. A rounded base price of around $14 for utility service is considered to be more favorable than a charge of $13.10. Source


Goetz M.,Hughes and Stuart Marketing
Journal - American Water Works Association | Year: 2012

Melanie Goetz suggests that water utilities can use the monthly water bills as a means of educating their customers by carefully developing line item descriptors. She states that the billing statement can be the focal point of efforts to educate customers about the true value of water. One of the major elements that that affects a consumer's perception of the water bill is the concept of paying 'into the future'. Many water utilities are adding new line items such as 'to purchase a sustainable water supply' and 'to replace infrastructure' in an effort to realize costs associated with critical needs. Water utilities have realized that the addition of new line items in water bills play a key role in educating customers about the fees and costs that have been levied for the services provided to them. Source

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