McKenzie Associates

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions and Answers

How are you compensated?

The vast majority of our clients take advantage of our contingency-based compensation offer.  There is NO upfront cost, and we are only compensated with an agreed-upon portion of the refunds or future savings that we are directly responsible for.
That being said, we are open to negotiating any type of compensation offer that makes sense to you and to us.

When do you invoice for savings?

We ask for our agreed-upon share only after those savings actually appear on your bill, with the amounts having been objectively verified to our client’s satisfaction, AND the savings actually in your bank in the form of a refund or avoided cost saving. 

Is there ever any Upfront or Retainer fee?

With our contingency offer…No. We assume all the risk.  
For other plans, it might make sense to include a fee based on other elements in the negotiated compensation agreement.

How do you prove your savings?

From the beginning of our 30-year history, we knew that being able to objectively prove – beyond a shadow of a doubt - the accuracy of the savings we caused was going to be the lynchpin of our service.
Over the years we have formulated easy-to-read and understand reports that can confidently be shown to anyone in Management, the Finance Dept., or in a C-Suite.
We can prove our savings objectively because - at the end of the day, ALL savings are literally going to be the result of a lowered cost per unit…be it a kWh, a therm, a gallon, etc.  
For example, if we petition the utility to change your user classification, and that then allows you to participate on an optional electric rate, and that then causes your kWh rate to lower from $.20 to $.15, there is a resultant savings of $.05 per kWh. It is simple math to multiply the number of kWh used in a given month times $.05 to determine the savings that month.
Keep in mind…we are NOT invoicing based on claiming to have reduced consumption…that is not our scope.  OUR mission is to reduce the cost per unit, and then calculating the savings each month based on how many units were used…be it more or less than a previous month.
The Bottom Line is that we will not ask you to pay a bill that you do not understand or agree with.

How much effort is there for our staff?

We know our clients are busy and want to spend the least amount of time possible aiding our efforts.  To that end we have spent many years streamlining the process of getting what we need.
If a client’s bills are paid electronically, we can of course download them with little effort from staff.
If bills are only available in paper form, we will be happy to send someone from a national Temp agency (with whom we have a relationship for just this purpose) to your site to retrieve and/or scan bills on site.  
Once we receive bill copies (and we only need ONE recent month of each account), all we need after that is a contact person in the organization to whom we can direct operational questions to from time to time. 

What is your Guarantee?

While we can’t guarantee that we will cause any certain amount of refunds, we can guarantee the following:
We will trace and verify for accuracy every single charge on every single bill – including tax charges - back to the original tariff or contract, verify that
the service being charged for is still in use, and research every possible way to receive a lower cost from the service provider.

Do you have past clients I can call?

Yes, of course.  We try to be protective of their time, but we are happy to provide names and contact info once we’ve begun discussions.

What is your $10,000 Guarantee for VoIP providers?

Because clients are sometimes leery of the effort they think their staff might have to invest…
We Guarantee – with a check from us given to the client upon engagement – that our savings will be at least $10,000…enough to cover any internal costs the client may perceive they are going to incur.  The check can be immediately cashed.
We do this because our experience has shown us that VoIP providers are very susceptible to overcharges, and we are so certain of finding these overcharges and the resulting cost reduction we will provide, that we want to minimize that concern.
So we are willing to write a check upon engagement for up to $10,000 dollars for VoIP providers with monthly expenses of $3 mil or more, and $5000 for providers with monthly expenses under $3 mil.

What if you don’t find anything?

While disappointing to both parties, there IS at least good news for the client -even if we don’t find any errors.
This is because the client, by virtue of having had this thorough audit performed - at absolutely NO expense, is now able to sleep well at night knowing they are not being overcharged, as opposed to just hoping they weren’t.  

Are there really that many errors?

The best answer to this question is this…Since we are paid on contingency, we would not still be in business after 30 years if we did not find enough savings to make our clients happy and pay our own bills.
We would not be offering to do this service - with no upfront cost or retainer – if we did not have a record of providing substantial savings that we can share in.

How often are you successful?

We are always successful in providing a thorough audit the client can confidently depend on.
Over these years we have caused at least some refunds and/or savings about 85% of the time.

Will the utility companies not like us or will this somehow hurt our relationship with them?

We have very good relationships with our clients’ utility companies.  Most utility companies are happy to see their clients pay the proper amount – as long as it is done per the tariffs…which is what we do.
Utility companies are highly regulated, and they know they must follow those regulations. Regulations state it is the client’s responsibility to make sure they are being charged properly and at the lowest possible cost.
We are always respectful, and good relationships with the clients remain intact.

We do our own auditing.  Why should we use you?

Since we work on contingency…why not use us…if only to verify the effectiveness of your own team and give them an attaboy.
Remember… if your staff is as good as us and we find nothing, there is NO charge to you, and anything we do find has been missed by your staff – probably many times over for many months.  Once an error is missed, that charge now becomes status quo, and the chances of it being identified decrease greatly over time.
Every company audits their bills to one degree or another, and most thought they did not need us, yet over $19 mil in accumulated savings shows we were able to find some things that had been missed. LOL
And finally…we don’t just look at the charges on the bill, but trace each charge back to its source…be it a tariff, contract, or tax statute.  Very few staff have the specialized knowledge or the time to do what we do.
One suggestion…We are happy for you to perform a complete and thorough audit using internal resources and then have us come in.  Then you can know for sure that anything we find was missed by internal staff.

Why give away your company's money?

Overcharges can result from errors in any aspect of the billing process: data input, meter issues, or improper application of special contracts or tariffs.
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