Q: How can we continue monitoring flow at locations with inactive services?
A: There are two methods for doing this. The latest method is called the Vacant Properties feature, complete instructions for which can be found here. The other way is to associate the inactive service with a special account called “Vacant” (or any name that you can quickly recognize as an unoccupied location). This let you easily continue monitoring flow at a location after its occupant has moved out. This older method still works.
To use it, create a Data Exchange file that includes a single row of data for each inactive service you want to monitor:
- Copy the current row of data for the service configuration whose occupant is moving out. At a minimum, the row must include the current Location_ID, Service_Point_ID, Meter_ID, Endpoint_SN, Meter_Resolution and Register_Unit_Of_Measure along with the Meter_Install_Date and Endpoint_Install_Date.
- Update the fields color-coded in blue text:
• Enter “Vacant” for the Account ID column.
• Enter “Idle Meter” or “Dormant Meter” in the Account_Full_Name column. (This action ensures that the previous occupant name will be overwritten.)
• Enter a new SA_Start_Date that coincides with the tenant move-out date. (This action automatically closes the previous service agreement and reduces the number of rows that need to be created in the Data Exchange file.)
• Use the _CLEAR_ command to empty data from any field containing personally identifiable information (PII).Those fields might include:Account_First_Name, Account_Last_Name, Account_Email, Account_Phone, Account_Phone_Extension, Billing_Address_Line1, Billing_Address_Line2, Billing_Address_Line_3, Billing_City, Billing_State, Billing_Zip, Billing_Country, Person_ID, Account_Portal_Status, Account_Billing_Cycle, Account_Paperless, Account_AutoPay, Account_BillerAutoPay and Location_Name.
- If you use the Account_Status field, set it to ‘I’ for Inactive.
- Save your changes, and import the Data Exchange file.
When imported, the Data Exchange process will automatically close the previous service configuration and start a new service configuration at the same location. Because the new service configuration is active, you will be able to see it on the Monitor page. Searching for “Vacant” lets you quickly see all the cards and monitor flow at locations where the occupants have moved out.
To avoid having your billing vendor continue to try to bill for an inactive service, create a special Route or Cycle that acts as a holding tank for all such services and assign the dormant service to it. Alternately, you could append “DoNotBill” to the current Route or Cycle number to help you keep track of the Route or Cycle associated with the inactive service.