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Gas South says pay option attracts users
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ATLANTA — Gas South’s pay-as-you-go program is now in its second year and the payment option developed for credit-challenged consumers is growing in popularity.
Even amid signs of a strengthening economy, the recent recession has left many consumers with uncertainty and a renewed commitment to savings. Thousands have turned to Gas South’s pay-as-you-go program for affordable residential natural gas service. More than 12,000 customers are currently enrolled in the program.
“Value, affordability and convenience — these are the reasons pay-as-you-go has proven to be an attractive and valuable option for credit-challenged consumers,” Gas South CEO Kevin Greiner said. “Customers have been very pleased with pay-as-you-go, and it has been gratifying for Gas South to be able to help consumers in Georgia during this difficult time.”
The program was developed for customers who may have recently relocated, lack a credit history or are dealing with financial challenges that prevent them from qualifying for service or paying the deposits required by other natural gas providers. Although the state’s regulated provider is required to offer natural gas service to anyone, regardless of credit history or ability to pay, it too can require large deposits and customers may be affected by rate volatility.
Customers who qualify for Gas South’s pay-as-you-go program are not required to pay any deposit and receive the benefit of more stable rates. In addition, customers who establish a good payment record for 12 consecutive months become eligible to transfer to one of Gas South’s standard plans.
Since the program began in 2008, more than 2,000 customers have been offered the opportunity to switch from pay-as-you-go to one of Gas South’s regular rate plans.
In a survey of pay-as-you-go customers who received service through the program for at least 12 months, nearly 90 percent of respondents reported being very satisfied or satisfied with the voluntary program, and 92 percent said they would recommend it to a friend. In addition, more than one-third of respondents cited the fact that the program requires no deposit as the leading reason for enrolling, followed by 23 percent who cited the program’s low rates, and 21 percent who became Gas South pay-as-you-go customers after being declined for service by another natural gas provider.
“We recognized that historically credit-challenged consumers have been underserved by natural gas providers, and we developed Pay-As-You-Go to offer a valuable option,” Greiner said. “The facts that the program requires no deposit and offers competitive rates continue to be very important for customers who also may have had difficulty qualifying for service or are required to pay a large deposit by other providers.”
Several community service agencies — CredAbility, the Salvation Army, United Way, Society of St. Vincent DePaul and the Atlanta Community Food Bank — have partnered with Gas South to raise awareness of the pay-as-you-go program among the communities they serve.

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