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:
Texas Prompt Payment Act: Information
If your organization is a state agency or political subdivision, your organization may qualify for billing treatment under the Texas Prompt Payment Act. YK Communications requests that you identify yourself as eligible for Texas Prompt Payment Act billing treatment. You may call our business office at 361-771-3334, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to YK Communications, P.O. Box 329, Ganado, TX 77962. If you identify your organization as eligible for Texas Prompt Payment Act billing treatment, we will request that you provide a tax exempt certificate or affidavit to document your eligible status. If you have questions about whether your organization qualifies for billing treatment under the Texas Prompt Payment Act, please review Texas Government Code Chapter 2251. Alternatively, you can contact the State Comptroller’s office at 1-800-252-5555 or e-mail them at WebFileHelp@cpa.state.tx.us.
YK Communications is the recipient of Federal financial assistance from the Rural Electrification Administration, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, and the rules and regulations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture which provide that no person in the United States on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, or handicap shall be excluded from participation in, admission or access to, denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any of this organization’s programs or activities. The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s nondiscrimination compliance efforts is Bill Rakowitz, General Manager. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization by writing to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call 800-795-3272 (voice) or 202-720-6382 (TDD). Complaints must be filed within 180 days after the alleged discrimination. Confidentiality will be maintained to the extent possible.
Communication services furnished by the company are public utility services which are offered by the company subject to the rules, regulations and charges set forth in its tariffs, which tariffs shall at all times control the provision of such communication services. Every effort is made in this directory to accurately portray information showing certain terms, conditions and charges by which communication services are furnished. In the event of a conflict between such tariffs and the information contained in this directory, the tariffs shall prevail. The company’s tariffs are subject to change and are available for inspection at the company business office during office hours.
Threatening Or Obscene Telephone Calls
If you receive obscene or nuisance calls, follow these suggestions:
- Hang up
- Give no information
- Advise children to do the same
Making threatening, obscene, or nuisance calls is a violation of State and Federal laws. If you receive a threatening call, report it immediately to the police. Many optional telephone services including Caller ID Name and Number, Anonymous Call Rejection and Call Tracing are available in most areas and can help prevent annoying calls. For further information about these services, see the Calling Features section located on pages 27–34. Often, changing your telephone number will resolve the problem.
Call the company business office at 361-771-3334 for more information.
Call Before You Dig
Before you do any extensive digging or construction on your property or public lands, please call:
1-800-245-4545 to prevent damage to underground utilities
(You must give 48 hours advance notice excluding weekends and holidays.) The following information will need to be provided by the customer:
- County, city
- Caller’s name and firm
- Firm address
- Can be reached telephone number
- Best time to call
- Location of proposed excavation
- Type and extent of work
- Starting time and date
Then they will let you know if you will run into any telephone lines.
All too often, private homeowners and construction crews unintentionally dig up land where these lines and cables are located. This sometimes results in costly damage or destruction. So let’s work together to avoid needless disruption of telephone service in our community.
When an 800 or 900 number is dialed from your telephone, your telephone number may be transmitted to the company you have called and may be available to that company’s service representative before your call is answered. It is important to remember that both per-call and per-line blocking will not block your billing telephone number to Emergency 911, nor will it currently prevent your number from being transmitted on 800, 877, 888 or 900 calls. Also, calls made from a pay telephone cannot be blocked.
Rules For Automatic Dial-Announcing Devices
Your telephone company complies with the rules of the Public Utility Commission of Texas governing the use of Automatic Dial Announcing Devices (the device).
These rules include the following:
- The device is any equipment used for telephone solicitation or collection that:
- is capable of storing numbers to be called or has a random or sequential generator capable of producing numbers to be called; and
- is capable, alone or in conjunction with other equipment, to convey a prerecorded or synthesized voice message to the number called.
- The device may not be used unless the user has obtained a permit from the Public Utility Commission and has given a copy of such permit as written notice specifying the type of device to be connected, to each telecommunications company or cooperative over whose system the device is to be used;
- The device is not to be used for random number dialing or to dial numbers by successively increasing or decreasing integers;
- The message conveyed by the device, or a message delivered by a human, must state the nature of the call and the name, address and call-back telephone number of the person, company or organization making the call;
- The device must disconnect from the called person’s line no later than thirty (30) seconds after the called person hangs up;
- No calls shall be made to emergency telephone numbers of hospitals, fire departments, law enforcement offices or other entities providing emergency service;
- For calls terminating in the State of Texas, the device is not to be used to make a call:
- On a Sunday before 12:00pm/Noon or after 9 p.m., or before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on a weekday or a Saturday, when the device is used for solicitation; or
- At any hour that collection calls would be prohibited under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 United States Code, Section 801 et seq., when the device is used for collection purposes; and
- A violation of any portion of this section shall subject the user to prosecution for a Class C misdemeanor as set forth in Section 87B(f) of the Public Utility Regulatory Act.
Failure to comply with these rules may result in the refusal of service or termination upon proper notice by the company until noncompliance is corrected. The above rules do not apply to the use of the device to call a person who has given the person making the call written permission to be called by the device except that the company may disconnect service to a person using the device if the device is causing network harm.
Additional details on the requirements of these rules may be obtained from the company’s business office or the Public Utility Commission of Texas, www.puc.state.tx.us, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711, 1-888-782-8477.
Recording of Telephone Conversations
If your telephone conversation is recorded, the following conditions and procedures shall apply:
- The recording shall be preceded by verbal or written consent of all parties to the telephone conversation, or
- The recording shall be preceded by verbal notification which is recorded at the beginning, and as a part of the call, by the recording party, or
- A distinct beep tone is heard on the line every fifteen (15) seconds during the course of the telephone conversations when the recording device is in use.
No recording device shall be used unless it can be physically connected to or disconnected from the telephone line or switched on and off.
Under certain restrictions, an exemption to these rules exists for Federally-Licensed Commercial Broadcast and Law Enforcement Agencies.
Texas law provides certain protections for a person who receives a telephone solicitation at a residence.
A telephone solicitor must:
- identify himself or herself by name
- identify the business in whose behalf he or she is calling
- identify the purpose of the call
- identify the number at which the person or company making the call may be reached
A telephone solicitor may not call a residence before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays or before noon or after 9 p.m. on Sunday.
If a telephone solicitor uses an Automatic Dial Announcing Device, the machine must disconnect from your line within thirty (30) seconds after termination of the call.
Exceptions: The requirements above do not apply to telephone solicitations made at your request, or solicitations made in connection with an existing debt or contract or calls from a telephone solicitor with whom you have a prior or existing business relationship.
If you use a credit card to purchase (goods or services) from a telephone solicitor other than a public charity (an organization exempt from Federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code, §501(c)(3)), the seller must:
- offer a full refund for the return of undamaged and unused goods within seven (7) days after you receive the goods or services (the seller must process the refund within thirty (30) days after you return the merchandise or cancel your order for undelivered goods or services); or
- provide you with a written contract fully describing the goods or services being offered, the total price charged, the name, address and business telephone of the seller and any terms and conditions affecting the sale.
The Texas Attorney General investigates complaints relating to a violation of this law, which is found at the Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 37. If you have a complaint about a telephone solicitor whom you believe has violated this law, contact:
Consumer Protection Division
Office of the Attorney General of Texas
P.O. Box 12548
Austin, Texas 78711-2548
Web site: www.oag.state.tx.us
Another law found in The Public Regulatory Act of 55.151 and 55.152 requires a telephone solicitor to make every effort not to call a consumer who asks not to be called again. Complaints relating to a violation of this law are investigated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas. If you have a complaint about repeated solicitation from a telephone solicitor you have asked not to call you again, contact:
Office of Customer Protection
Public Utility Commission of Texas
P.O. Box 13326
Austin, Texas 78711-3326
Toll Free: 1-888-782-8477
Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with text telephones (TTY) may contact the commission at 800-735-2988.
Be advised that you may have additional rights under Federal law. Please contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission for further information on the additional rights.
Your Rights Concerning Customer Proprietary Network Information
In the normal course of providing you with telephone services, YK Communications maintains certain information regarding your account. This information, when matched to your name, address and billing telephone number is known as “Customer Proprietary Network Information” or CPNI for short. Examples of your CPNI include the type of line you have, technical characteristics, class of service, current telephone charges, long distance or local billing records, directory assistance charges, usage date and calling patterns.
To protect customer information, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that specify when telecommunications carriers may use or disclose customer’s CPNI to others. Ganado Telephone Company, Inc. must follow all applicable FCC rules as contained in Subpart U–Customer Proprietary Network Information–of Part 64 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
YK Communications respects the privacy of our customer’s CPNI and takes our responsibility to protect your data very serious. For this reason, YK Communications does not share your information with anyone outside of YK Communications for marketing purposes.
YK Communications authorized employees are allowed to use, disclose and provide access to your CPNI as necessary to:
- Initiate, render, bill and collect for telecommunications services YK Communications provides;
- Protect the rights or property of YK Communications or to protect users of those services and other carriers from fraudulent, abusive or unlawful use of, or subscription to, such services; or
- Provide any inbound telemarketing, referral or administrative services to the customer for the duration of the call, if such call was initiated by the customer and the customer approves of the use of such information to provide such service.
YK Communications is allowed to use your CPNI as necessary for:
- Marketing what is known as adjunct-to-basic services. Adjunct-to-basic local services would include, but is not limited to, speed dialing, call monitoring, call tracing, call blocking, call return, call waiting and call forwarding.
- Marketing services such as, call answering, voicemail or messaging, voice storage and retrieval services, fax storage and retrieval services and customer premise equipment (CPE).
YK Communications shall also disclose CPNI to whomever you designate upon your affirmative written request.
Should YK Communications elect to share your CPNI with our affiliates in the future, we must first notify you and obtain your permission to do so.
Please note that restricting your CPNI will not eliminate all of our marketing contracts with you. You could still receive marketing contracts from us that are not based on your CPNI. Also, we are permitted to use your CPNI to contact you about telephone services we offer that are not available to you from another source. Finally, even if your CPNI is restricted, we may still use it to market those telephone services or features that may be available to you from a source other than us if you contact us and ask about such services. Denial or approval of the use of CPNI will remain in effect unless notified otherwise by the customer.
Any customer who has a complaint is encouraged to speak to a service representative in the local business office. If the problem is not resolved, he or she may appeal to higher levels of supervision. Customers may also contact the Public Utility Commission, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326. Complaints should be in writing and include as much factual information as possible.
Your Rights When Using 900 Pay-Per-Call Service
You have the right to request blocking of all 900 calls. You may obtain this blocking free of charge. Your local or long distance telephone service cannot be disconnected for non-payment of charges for 900 services. Your access to 900 services may be involuntarily blocked if you do not pay legitimate 900 pay-per-call charges. You should not be billed for any pay-per-call services that do not comply with Federal laws and regulations.
Selecting A Telephone Company–Slamming
Telephone companies are prohibited by law from switching you from one telephone service provider to another without your permission, a practice commonly known as “slamming.”
If you are slammed, Texas law requires the telephone company that slammed you to do the following:
- Pay all charges associated with returning you to your original telephone company within five (5) business days of your request.
- Provide all billing records to your original telephone company within ten (10) business days of your request.
- Pay your original telephone company the amount you would have paid if you had not been slammed.
- Refund to you within thirty (30) business days any amount you paid for charges during the first thirty (30) days after the slam and any amount more than what you would have paid your original telephone company for charges after the first thirty (30) days following the slam.
Your original telephone company is required to provide you with all the benefits, such as frequent flyer miles, you would have normally received for your telephone use during the period in which you were slammed.
If you have been slammed, you can change your service immediately back to your original provider by calling your local telephone company. You should also report the slam by writing or calling the Public Utility Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, 512-936-7120 or in Texas (toll free) 1-888-782-8477, fax 512-936-7003, e-mail address: email@example.com. Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with text telephones (TTY) may contact the commission at 800-735-2988.
You can prevent slamming by requesting a preferred telephone company freeze from your local telephone company. With a freeze in place, you must give formal consent to “lift” the freeze before your telephone service can be changed. A freeze may apply to local toll service, long distance service, or both The Public Utility Commission of Texas can give you more information about freezes and your rights as a customer.
Charges On Your Telephone Bill–Cramming
Placing charges on your telephone bill for products or services without your authorization is known as “cramming” and is prohibited by law. Your telephone company may be providing billing services for other companies, so other companies’ charges may appear on your telephone bill.
If you believe you were “crammed,” you should contact the telephone company that bills you for your telephone service and request that it take corrective action. The Public Utility Commission of Texas requires the billing telephone company to do the following within 45 days of when it learns of the unauthorized charge:
- Notify the service provider to cease charging you for the unauthorized product or service;
- Remove any unauthorized charge from your bill;
- Refund or credit all money to you that you have paid for an unauthorized charge; and
- On your request, provide you with all billing records related to any unauthorized charge within 15 business days after the charge is removed from your telephone bill.
If the company fails to resolve your request, or if you would like to file a complaint, please write or call the Public Utility Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, 512-936-7120 or toll free in Texas at 888-782-8477. Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with text telephones (TTY) may contact the commission at 800-735-2988.
Your telephone service cannot be disconnected for disputing or refusing to pay unauthorized charges.
You may have additional rights under State and Federal law. Please contact the Federal Communications Commission, the Attorney General of Texas, or the Public Utility Commission of Texas if you would like further information about possible additional rights.