You've just received the news that you're being transferred to another branch office in another state ... in two weeks. In the excitement and stress of selecting a new home, selling, subletting, or simply preparing to leave your old one, packing, and worrying about your new role in the company, you hardly have the time to consider who you need to contact about your forthcoming change of address. Most of us have so many monthly bills (credit cards, student loans, and car insurance, for example) to pay that just notifying those companies is a day's work in itself. But your work doesn't stop there. Your utility companies need to be notified, you need to change your personal information for voter registration, you're going to need new license plates ... and all of this pressure arrives at precisely the time when you're knee deep in boxes. You may not even know where your phone book is located. There's a solution to this madness: Don't pack your computer just yet. Instead, log onto Utility Connections, Inc., a one-stop change-of-address center both for residential and commercial moves.
Utility Connections, based in North Miami Beach, Fla., is an online database that enables movers to notify in a matter of minutes their electric, telephone, long distance, water, cable/satellite, sewer, gas, garbage, change of postal address, voter's registration, driver's license, auto tags, vehicle registration, and others. Utility Connections also assumes the responsibility of handling your connections, disconnections, and transfers of service. It's an online godsend for all of us overwhelmed movers.
Another bonus of using Utility Connections: You don't have to stand in line to change your address -- for example, at the Post Office or your local Department of Public Safety. Such offices typically are open only during business hours, meaning that you have to reshuffle your schedule at the office and take time away to take care of these little responsibilities that eat up valuable personal time when you need it the most. The company offers its residential customers continued services after they are settled in their new homes; Utility Connections expands its available services to its customers, offering low-cost options, and may serve as customers' point of contact if they choose to purchase additional services in the future. Initial residential service includes various option packages -- disconnection, connection, transfer of service, and change of address for electricity, telephone, water/sewer, gas, local newspaper, cable/satellite, garbage/waste removal, change of postal address, voter's registration, driver's license, vehicle registration, and auto tags. Option packages are priced according to the number of services the client selects.
Commercial customers are offered connection of services at their new locations, disconnection of services at their old locations, transfer of service, and change of address for electricity, telephone, water/sewer, gas, garbage/waste removal, cable/satellite, change of postal address, voter's registration, driver's license, auto tags, and vehicle registration. These services, too, are packaged in bundles and are priced accordingly.
Commercial customers also receive comprehensive information packages on their new cities -- including the names, addresses, and phone numbers of local government officials, and the locations of key points of interest, such as museums, playhouses, and performing arts theaters and centers, as well as parks and recreational facilities. And because moving a corporation means moving employees filled with trepidation, Utility Connections includes for its commercial customers a new neighbor information package with the names, phone numbers, and addresses of the company's nearest "neighbors"; a local map of their new neighborhood, including major points of interest; and printed directions from the new office to the nearest points of interest. A complete information package on the new state, when applicable for the relocating corporate customer, includes contact information for government officials, government agencies, and detailed information on the new state. And the package includes information about obtaining the required local, county, and state licensing; and assistance in obtaining liquor licensing for restaurants, clubs, bars, and pubs.
Utility Connection also includes links to its "Preferred Partners" -- contact information for selected title services.
The advantages of using this one-stop service are obvious for Realtors, who are always on the lookout for more value-added services to provide their clients. The Utility Connections site includes a Realtor Q&A that describes the "pros" of offering these change-of-address services to home buyers and sellers. Besides the convenience, Realtors have the advantage of being able to advertise this service in all of their promotions, given them a leg up on the competition. In addition, the service claims that the information it provides utility companies on behalf of its clients is 100 percent accurate, and that its coordinated connections and disconnections ensure that its customers won't pay for someone else's utility service -- only their own. And as everyone knows, Realtors who sell not only homes but peace of mind are always appreciated. That's one constant in a market known for its fluctuations.
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