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-Utility company web site study shows most lack sophistication and functionality.


A recent study of the web sites of 144 utilities companies in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK and the US by Anderson Consulting has found that most utilities companies' web sites lack sophistication and functionality. The study has suggested that the lack of these two elements means that the companies are not competing as effectively in the on-line marketplace as other companies with more developed web sites. Anderson Consulting's report suggests that the inability to compete effectively will leave the utilities companies vulnerable to start-up companies trying to capitalise on utility deregulation by operating entirely through the Internet. Characteristics of the best web sites according to the report include the ability of customers to conduct general account management functions, such as changing service plans, the ability to receive and pay bills on-line, to obtain real-time pricing data and the ability to monitor hourly energy consumption. Those not performing well tended to lack the functionality to achieve real e-commerce benefits. One indication Anderson Consulting used to gauge the effectiveness of web sites was the length of time it took the utility company to respond to an e-mail message submitted via the web site. A related study by the consultancy company found that only 27% of utility companies responded within 24 hours, with 34% failing to respond at all and 11% with malfunctioning e- mail capability.

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Comment:-Utility company web site study shows most lack sophistication and functionality.
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 18, 1999
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