An electric shock! How incorrect address information led my long-term utility provider to think I was a new customer. | DMA

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An electric shock! How incorrect address information led my long-term utility provider to think I was a new customer.


I have lived in the same property for almost nine years and for all of this time, I have been supplied with gas and electricity by the same utility provider. So, you’ll understand my surprise when I recently received a letter from them welcoming me to my new home.

When a new tenant moved into the downstairs flat, they informed the utility provider they were the new occupier but in doing so they failed to specify which of the two flats they were living in, and seemingly, the utility provider didn’t recognise that there were two flats at the same address.

An easy mistake to make?

It’s easy to see how this could have happened, upon receiving a call from a customer, the helpful customer services advisor created a new record based on the information they were provided with. The problem was that, in the process, they’d closed our account and locked the available funds, issuing us with a new account number and putting us on a different tariff. As you can imagine, this created problems that took considerable time to resolve.

Addressing the problem

Having spoken to the utility provider and asking them to investigate the cause of this issue, we discovered the problem stemmed from them holding four different variations of the same two flats; namely Flat A and Flat 1 for the downstairs flat, and Flat B and Flat 2 for the upstairs flat.

In fairness to the utility provider, they recognised the shortcomings in their processes, systems and employee training and assured me they would learn from this and make the necessary changes.

Making use of Multiple Residence data

Using Multiple Residence alongside PAF gives organisations the means of identifying delivery points that share a front door. By giving organisations a more detailed addressing structure, it helps them know where individual households exist and enables them to connect the right people at the right place with the right services. There are 750,000 multiple residence records in our file, with more than 2,000 new records added on average each month. It’s particularly useful to identify these in metropolitan and urban areas where there is a far greater concentration of flats and shared accommodation.

Multiple Residence has been developed to be consistent with PAF; from the way the file is structured to the way it’s licensed - the two databases complement one another and are easy to use together. Organisations that recognise the combined power of PAF and Multiple Residence; whether it is in an online checkout or when considering the best delivery option, have lots to gain from the superior service they deliver to their customers.

To find out more about Multiple Residence, watch our short video or speak to your Solutions Provider today.

Paul Tatman-Madsen

Marketing and Communications Manager

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