Questions & Answers About Service & Billing
The company recognizes the rights of its customers as a consumer of its services. The following is a list of often asked questions and their answers regarding your rights as a customer, application, billing and payments, deposits and the use of telephone service:
Can I look at and/or obtain copies of the rules and rates applicable to telephone service before I apply for service?
How long do I have to pay my telephone bill after I receive it?
On what basis can the telephone company disconnect my service?
- Failure to pay a delinquent account for basic local telephone service or failure to comply with the terms of a Deferred Payment or Guarantee Deposit Agreement;
- Violation of the telephone company’s rules pertaining to the use of service in a manner which interferes with the service of others or the operation of nonstandard equipment, if a reasonable attempt has been made to notify you and you are provided with a reasonable opportunity to remedy the situation;
- Failure to comply with deposit or guarantee arrangements where required by the telephone company in accordance with the General Rules pertaining to Deposits in the General Exchange Tariff for the telephone company.
What do I have to pay to prevent the disconnection of basic local service?
Can the telephone company disconnect my service without notifying me before doing so?
YES. If a known dangerous condition exists which would cause harm to the telecommunications network, you as a customer, or employees of the company, as long as the condition exists.
Also, where service is connected without authority by a person who has not made application for service or who has reconnected service without authority following termination of service for nonpayment or in instances of tampering with the company’s equipment or bypassing it.
If I am late with payment of my bill, will the company notify me? (Before they disconnect my service.)
YES. If your bill for telephone service has not been paid within the 16 days allowed for payment, a termination or disconnect notice will be sent to you at least 10 days prior to a date stated on the disconnect notice that service will be disconnected if the bill has not been paid by that date.
The notice will have the words “Termination Notice” or similar language prominently displayed on it. The notice will also have printed on it, or attached to it, a notice that if you are in need of assistance with payment of your bill, or are ill and unable to pay your bill, you may be eligible for an alternative program, such as a Deferred Payment Plan, and you should contact the business office of the company for more information during the hours listed at the address and telephone numbers stated on page 3 of this directory.
If I get a termination notice and the disconnection date shown on it is on a weekend or a holiday, will my service be disconnected on the day before?
If I find what I believe to be an error on my bill, how do I resolve the error? (Without having my service disconnected.)
In the event of a dispute between you and the telephone company regarding any bill for telephone service, the company will investigate the particular case, and report the results to you. In the event the dispute is not resolved, the company will inform you of the complaint procedures of the Public Utility Commission.
Your service will not be subject to discontinuance for not paying that portion of a bill under dispute pending the completion of the determination of the dispute, but in no event should the dispute exceed sixty (60) days. You are obligated to pay any billings not disputed as established in the General Rules Section of the General Exchange Tariff for the telephone company.
If my residence telephone bill is unusually high and I cannot pay the entire bill, are there any provisions where I can defer payments or make monthly payments?
Suppose my telephone service is disconnected, what should I do to have it reconnected?
- If your service has been disconnected for failure to establish credit or failure to pay basic local service, you must pay your bill or enter into a Deferred Payment Plan and meet the company’s deposit requirements before service will be restored. A charge for restoration of service will be made and collected by the company.
- If your check was returned because of insufficient funds or other reasons, you must make payment good. If the company deems necessary, you may be requested to supply cash, money order or cashier’s check and not accept a personal check if your credit history warrants such action. A restoration of service charge is applicable under this condition.
- If your service has been terminated and your deposit applied to the balance of your account, it will be necessary to reapply for telephone service as a new applicant.
If I do not agree with action or determination of the company regarding its customer service rules or rules of the public utility commission, how do I get the dispute resolved?
Under what circumstances will I be required to pay a deposit in obtaining telephone service?
If I am required to make a deposit to have telephone service, can I be required to pay an additional deposit to keep my service?
If I am required to pay a deposit, what rate of interest will be paid and how will it be paid?
If I am required to make a deposit, is the company required to return it to me?
- The company will issue a receipt of deposit to you for the deposit received and keep a record of the deposit;
- If service is not connected or if service is disconnected, the deposit will be automatically refunded plus accrued interest for the balance, if any, in excess of the unpaid bills for service furnished;
- If you are a residential customer and have paid bills for service for twelve (12) consecutive billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of a bill and without having more than two (2) occasions in which a bill was delinquent, and you are not delinquent in the payment of current billing, the company will automatically refund the deposit plus accrued interest in the form of credit to your monthly billing. If you have a guarantee for payment of your account, the company will void and return the guarantee to the guarantor;
- If you are a business or commercial customer and have paid bills for service for twenty-four (24) consecutive billings without having service disconnected for nonpayment of bill and without having more than two (2) occasions in which a bill was delinquent and you are not delinquent in the payment of current billing, the Company will promptly refund the deposit plus accrued interest in the form of cash or credit to your billing for service.
Under what conditions may I obtain Telephone service without paying a deposit?
- You have been a residential customer of a telephone company within the last two (2) years, and
- You are not delinquent in payment of your account for service, and
- During the last twelve (12) consecutive months of service did not have more than one (1) occasion in which your bill for service was paid after becoming delinquent and never had service disconnected for nonpayment. (You are encouraged to obtain a letter of credit from your previous company.)
- You furnish a satisfactory credit rating by appropriate means, including, but not limited to, the production of generally acceptable credit cards, letters of credit reference, the names of credit references which may be quickly and inexpensively contacted by the telephone company, or ownership of substantial equity.
- You furnish in writing a satisfactory guarantee to secure payment of bills for your telephone service.
- You are an applicant for residential service who is sixty-five (65) years of age or older and do not have an outstanding balance with any telephone company for residential service which accrued within the last two (2) years.
How will the credit history of my former spouse who shared my telephone service affect my continuing to have service?
How will I know about the company’s rules as related to my service, establishing and maintaining credit, bill payment and disconnection of service for failure to make prompt payment?
If my sight or hearing is severely impaired, how can I obtain assistance in using the telephone?
If I have physical disabilities or require care from others, how will I find out about my rights as a customer?
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