The following is a list of often asked questions and their answers about our Special Programs to Assist You
Texas “No Call List”
The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) now offers a “Do Not Call List” which will limit telemarketing calls to your home. The registration charge to join the list is $2.25 for each residential telephone number and your registered residential telephone number(s) will remain on this list for three (3) years from the date you register. To register by mail or telephone, you must call 1-866-896-6225 for more information, or you can register for free over the Internet at www.texasnocall.com Signing up for the no call list will reduce telemarketing calls; however, a customer that registers for inclusion on the no call list may continue to receive calls from groups, organizations, and persons who are exempt from compliance. Marketers that have an existing business relationship with you or certain excluded groups (including many charities) may continue to contact you at home. For more details on the Texas No Call List, go online at www.texasnocall.com or call 1-866-896-6225. Texas No Call P.O. Box 313 E. Walpole, MA 02032
National “Do Not Call List”
The Federal Government created the National “Do Not Call List” which will limit telemarketing calls to your home. The registration charge to be included on the list is free. The Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the states began enforcing the National Do Not Call Registry on October 1, 2003. You may register for the National “Do Not Call List” over the Internet, by telephone or mail. You must call toll free 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register. Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most, but not all, telemarketing calls. A customer who registers may continue to receive calls from groups, organizations and persons who are exempt from compliance. Marketers that have an existing business relationship with you or certain excluded groups (including many charities) may continue to contact your home. To register or for more details on the National “Do Not Call List,” go online at www.donotcall.gov or call toll free 1-888-382-1222.
Link-Up America Program
A 50% reduction is available–up to $30–on service connection charges if customers qualify for the Link-Up America Program. To be eligible a customer cannot be a dependent under the age of 60. The customer’s income must be at or below the Federal poverty level. The company’s business office will be happy to provide further details on the Link-Up America and Lifeline programs.
Lifeline Assistance Program
DISCOUNTS AVAILABLE FOR LOW-INCOME CUSTOMERS The company’s Lifeline Assistance program provides a reduction in the monthly charges to residential customers of up to $12.75. Lifeline service is a government program designed to make monthly residential telephone service rates more affordable to eligible low-income customers. Customers who are eligible for the Lifeline program are also eligible for toll blocking at no additional charge. To be eligible for Lifeline, a customer’s annual household income must be at or below 150% of the federal poverty guidelines, or a customer must receive benefits from or have a child in the household who receives benefits from at least one of the following programs: Medicaid; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Supplemental Security Income (SSI); Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA); Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); health benefits coverage under the State Child Health Plan (CHIP); Health and Safety Code; National School Lunch Program (free lunch program); or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Lifeline is a non-transferable service and eligible subscribers may receive assistance from only one wireline or wireless telecommunications provider per household. Only eligible customers may enroll in the program. Customers are required to submit a Lifeline application form and will be required to certify continued eligibility annually. Customers who willfully make false statements in order to obtain Lifeline benefits can be punished by fine or imprisonment or can be barred from the program. Questions concerning Lifeline application or eligibility may be directed to the Low-Income Discount Administrator (LIDA) at 1-866-454-8387. Basic services are offered to all customers in the Company’s service territories at the rates, terms, and conditions specified in the Company’s tariff. Pursuant §54.403(b)(2) partial payment on bundled services for a Lifeline subscriber must be allocated to voice telephony service first. If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding the Company’s services, please call us at (361) 771-3334, toll free at (800) 395-1499, or visit our business office at 109 W Putnam, Ganado, Texas.
Prepaid Local Telephone Service
Prepaid Local Telephone Service (PLTS) is a program that helps customers manage outstanding telephone balances and retain basic local telephone service. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has directed that the company provide this service.
PLTS gives eligible customers a one-time opportunity to retain their local service if they are at risk of disconnection of their local service for nonpayment of telephone bills. It also allows residential customers who have been disconnected because of late or unpaid bills to be reconnected. However, all customers have the option to retain basic local service without entering PLTS by ongoing payment of their basic telephone service. PLTS is not available to business customers.
To receive this service, you must agree to receive Toll Blocking/Toll Restriction Service, which will prevent you from making long distance telephone calls or usage-sensitive calls, which include directory assistance, call return, call trace and auto redial. In subscribing to PLTS, you agree not to incur additional charges for long distance or usage-sensitive services. In addition, you agree not to request additional services from your local telephone carrier other than those included on your PLTS subscription. If you violate the terms of this agreement you can be disconnected immediately and will not be eligible to receive PLTS again from the company.
To subscribe to PLTS, you must also pay up to two (2) months of charges up front. You must arrange a deferred payment plan with the company for your outstanding local telephone charges. Payments for these charges will begin with the third billing cycle after you subscribe to PLTS. The monthly payments on this plan may not exceed $10.00 per month or one-twelfth (1/12) of the outstanding local debt, whichever is larger.
You must pay your PLTS bill by the date due.
Please contact the company during normal business hours at 361-771-3334 and request PLTS.
If your telephone has been disconnected and you apply for PLTS within 10 days of the company’s mailing of your PLTS eligibility notice, you will not be required to pay the reconnection charge for restoring service at that time. You will be required to pay that charge when you return to basic local telephone service.
A subscription to PLTS provides these services at the monthly rate listed below. If you are eligible for Lifeline rates, your rates may be lower.
- Residential Basic Service – $16.00
- White Pages Directory Listing – No Charge
- Toll Blocking/Restriction – $1.50
- Access to 911, dual party relay service and the company’s business office – No Charge
In addition to the charges for services listed, customers will be responsible for paying surcharges or fees required by law or ordinance, including, but not limited to: 911 charges, subscriber line charges, sales tax, Universal Service Fund charges and Extended Local Calling (ELC) or Extended Metropolitan Service (EMS) if those services are required in their area.
If you have any questions about PLTS, please contact the company’s business office at 361-771-3334.
Deaf, Hard of Hearing or Speech-Impaired Services
Customer Telephone Access–RELAY TEXAS – This service relays calls between a person using TTY or other assistive devices and any other telephone user within the state. The service also allows a person without a TTY to call a TTY user. Specially trained personnel are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to relay the call. There is no extra charge for this service. Calls placed to destinations within the state of Texas will be billed at discounted rates. Long distance calls placed through RELAY TEXAS will be billed at the prevailing rates of the carrier selected by the Public Utility Commission to provide this service. To use RELAY TEXAS or obtain more information, including rate information, call toll free: If you have a TTY – 711 If you do not have a TTY – 1-800-RELAY-VV (1-800-735-2988) TTY Customer Service – 1-800-676-377
STAP–Specialized Telecommunication Assistance Program
The Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP) provides financial assistance to help Texas residents with disabilities purchase basic specialized equipment or services needed to access the telephone network. For more information, contact the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at 512-407-3250 (voice) or 512-407-3251 (TTY) or www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/index.shtml . This program is open to all individuals who are residents of Texas and have a disability.
Spanish Language Translation
Spanish language translation for the company’s policies and procedures and “Your Rights As A Customer” are available at the office located at 109 W. Putnam, P.O. Box 329, Ganado, Texas 77962-0329, upon request.