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Take a look at our most frequently asked questions below.
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What is the deposit alternative plan (DAP)?
Our Deposit Alternative Plan (DAP) offers your customers the choice of a smaller, non-refundable charge instead of a refundable deposit. If a DAP customer defaults, we will reimburse you for up to 125% of the original deposit amount.
Who is the target market for this plan?
Our target audience for the deposit alternative plan (DAP) is any utility or reseller —in regulated or deregulated markets—that requires customers to post a deposit for utility services.
Is the plan a one-time payment or annual cost?
A one-time charge covers the DAP-enrollee deposits for up to 24 months.
What happens if a DAP-enrolled utility customer defaults?
The utility submits a single monthly Defaults Reimbursement Report listing unique customer IDs with default amounts. The utility will receive an electronic default reimbursement monthly.
What is the cost to the utility?
Deposit Alternatives does not charge the utility for the Deposit Alternative Plan. The only expense is the cost of minor CIS and scripting changes needed to accommodate the DAP. The DAP charge is collected from the utility's customer (in place of a deposit) and is passed through to Deposit Alternatives via a monthly Enrollment Report and ACH payment.
Is the company that backs this plan financially solvent?
Yes, our Deposit Alternative Plan (DAP) is backed by a top 5 global reinsurer, with an "A" rating from A.M. Best "A".
Benefits of DAP
Why would a utility company want to offer the deposit alternative plan (DAP)?
DAP allows utilities to give your customers an additional choice that did not previously exist. This choice can increase customer satisfaction, reduce the utility's bad debt, reduce reliance on collections, and can be implemented with little impact on existing cancellation, termination, and collection procedures.
In deregulated markets, the lower cost of activation offers a competitive advantage.
What's the benefit for utility customers?
The deposit alternative plan (DAP) reduces the customer's out-of-pocket cost to activate service. Our plan is an appealing option for new utility customers, especially those facing non-routine expenses, such as moving costs and other utility deposits.
How does Deposit Alternatives interact with my customers?
We don't – your customer service teams will continue to manage the Customer Experience.
The only difference your customers notice is an additional choice when a deposit is required: the traditional deposit or the Deposit Alternative Plan (DAP), which is a lower cost, non-refundable alternative.
How does DAP impact my Customer Service Representatives?
Offering the Deposit Alternative Plan as an additional choice can ease difficult conversations when a deposit is required. Our utility customers have indicated that offering DAP has had negligible impact on Call Handle Times. With DAP your customer service representatives can improve the customer experience and maintain call volumes.
How easy is it for a utility customer to sign up?
What do utility customers think about DAP?
They love it! As utilities offer DAP to their customers we routinely monthly aceptance rates (percent of deposit-required customers choosing DAP) as high as 90%. On average, utilities offering DAP report monthly customer acceptance rates for DAP between 45% and 80%.
What's required to implement the plan?
The process can be completed in a matter of months. Once we receive and analyze your data, we provide rates and conditions, and simple guidelines to integrate our data needs into existing systems. We require no confidential customer information and no real-time exchange of data. We manage the program from two simple monthly reports and two monthly Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions.
We offer implementation assistance through our IT partner. Drop us a note in the section below to learn more.
How does a utility get started with DAP?
It all starts with our Historical Data Request. To model the impact DAP can have on your business we'll utilize 5 years of customer activations, with a maximum of nine fields for each record, as outlined in our Historical Data Template file.
Once we've received this data, our team will complete our analysis and schedule a meeting to review the findings. Even if you don't choose to implement DAP, our report provides valuable insights into your deposit environment.
What do regulators think about DAP?
We've been proactive with the regulatory community, attending conferences and introducing our solutions. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Regulators view DAP as a customer benefit if DAP is offered as an alternative to – and not a replacement for – the traditional deposit and offered in a non-discriminatory manner.