In another global first, Incentivated has signed a contract with Dataserve UK to build and host a meter-reading service that allows consumers to text their gas and electricity reading(s) from their mobile phone. Readings are validated and inserted directly into the existing billing engine in order to generate accurate bills instead of estimated ones. In these times of high and rising energy prices it is in the consumer’s interest to make sure their bill is correct, especially since the law requires the supplier to take an actual reading only every two years and estimate in between. Estimates can lead to over-payment or alternatively the accumulation of a potential bad debt. After submitting their reading(s), the consumer receives confirmation by text message or details of where a mistake has been made. The service offers an alternative to the traditional methods of post or IVR when Dataserve’s meter-reading operative is unable to gain access to the property.

Dataserve ran a trial of the service during late 2005 in the North West and Scotland and found a willingness of customers to use the mobile medium as well as a high accuracy rate of readings submitted. The potential for substantial cost reduction in each reading collected due to the automated nature of the service is an added benefit for Dataserve and the service helps the company respond to its regulatory requirements.

Simon Evans, Business Transformation ‘Blackbelt’ at Dataserve said, “The results of the trial in the North West and Scotland enabled our board to take the step of being the first utility company to roll out text message meter-reading on a permanent basis. I would like to take this opportunity to pass on my regards and thanks to the Incentivated team for their help, support and professionalism both prior to and during the pilot.”

Jonathan Bass, Managing Director at Incentivated, said, “This is an obvious application but it takes a forward-thinking client like Dataserve to actually put it into practice. We ran numerous trials with the client, interfacing the consumer with various parts of the organisation and found a natural affinity for the mobile medium throughout. Customer service functions like this should be geared to the medium of choice for the consumer. Offering a range of choices such as text messaging alongside IVR, online and postal options, has to be the right choice for simple interactivity such as this. The text message (SMS) is the preferred channel for more and more people and it happens to be a method that should drastically reduce Dataserve’s cost of meter reading acquisition as well.”

Contact Details
For more Information and photography:

Tresena Hastings
Reality PR
+44 (0)20 8663 6111

About Dataserve UK

Dataserve UK consists of the former Scottish Power and Manweb metering, registrations and settlements businesses. Dataserve UK offers a comprehensive range of multi utility services, including meter installation and maintenance, meter reading, data processing and data aggregation. Through our use of technology and utility alignment, we are ideally placed to meet suppliers' costs and service level requirements. We offer our services to national energy suppliers and major companies, providing full geographical coverage throughout the UK. Dataserve aims to be a leading player providing quality-assured and innovative complete data management solutions.

About Incentivated

Founded in 2001, Incentivated ( is a mobile marketing agency that provides software for straight forward integrated marketing activities and campaign management services where the need is more complicated. Incentivated’s solutions are used by leading brands, charities and public sector bodies to improve the effectiveness of communication between the organisation and its customers. Greater participation resulting from the use of the mobile medium and reduced operating costs typically lead to increase ROI.

Incentivated’s mobile marketing products and services have been developed using the latest technologies in text and picture messaging for advertising, direct marketing, direct response and sales promotion. Using the Global Standard for Mobiles Incentivated can deliver mobile campaigns to the four corners of the globe.

In addition Incentivated has a range of sector-specific applications for mobile customer service and mobile commerce objectives. Mobile customer service enhances existing customer service processes by adding the mobile channel as an additional option for consumers. Incentivated’s mobile commerce platform allows businesses to offer secure transaction processing, collection of payments by PSMS and content delivery to the handset.

Published on: 12:00AM on 7th February 2006