47 CFR 76.309 - Customer service obligations.

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§ 76.309 Customer service obligations.
Link to an amendment published at 83 FR 7627, Feb. 22, 2018.

(a) A cable franchise authority may enforce the customer service standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section against cable operators. The franchise authority must provide affected cable operators ninety (90) days written notice of its intent to enforce the standards.

(b) Nothing in this rule should be construed to prevent or prohibit:

(1) A franchising authority and a cable operator from agreeing to customer service requirements that exceed the standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section;

(2) A franchising authority from enforcing, through the end of the franchise term, pre-existing customer service requirements that exceed the standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section and are contained in current franchise agreements;

(3) Any State or any franchising authority from enacting or enforcing any consumer protection law, to the extent not specifically preempted herein; or

(4) The establishment or enforcement of any State or municipal law or regulation concerning customer service that imposes customer service requirements that exceed, or address matters not addressed by the standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Effective July 1, 1993, a cable operator shall be subject to the following customer service standards:

(1) Cable system office hours and telephone availability -

(i) The cable operator will maintain a local, toll-free or collect call telephone access line which will be available to its subscribers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

(A) Trained company representatives will be available to respond to customer telephone inquiries during normal business hours.

(B) After normal business hours, the access line may be answered by a service or an automated response system, including an answering machine. Inquiries received after normal business hours must be responded to by a trained company representative on the next business day.

(ii) Under normal operating conditions, telephone answer time by a customer representative, including wait time, shall not exceed thirty (30) seconds when the connection is made. If the call needs to be transferred, transfer time shall not exceed thirty (30) seconds. These standards shall be met no less than ninety (90) percent of the time under normal operating conditions, measured on a quarterly basis.

(iii) The operator will not be required to acquire equipment or perform surveys to measure compliance with the telephone answering standards above unless an historical record of complaints indicates a clear failure to comply.

(iv) Under normal operating conditions, the customer will receive a busy signal less than three (3) percent of the time.

(v) Customer service center and bill payment locations will be open at least during normal business hours and will be conveniently located.

(2) Installations, outages and service calls. Under normal operating conditions, each of the following four standards will be met no less than ninety five (95) percent of the time measured on a quarterly basis:

(i) Standard installations will be performed within seven (7) business days after an order has been placed. “Standard” installations are those that are located up to 125 feet from the existing distribution system.

(ii) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the operator, the cable operator will begin working on “service interruptions” promptly and in no event later than 24 hours after the interruption becomes known. The cable operator must begin actions to correct other service problems the next business day after notification of the service problem.

(iii) The “appointment window” alternatives for installations, service calls, and other installation activities will be either a specific time or, at maximum, a four-hour time block during normal business hours. (The operator may schedule service calls and other installation activities outside of normal business hours for the express convenience of the customer.)

(iv) An operator may not cancel an appointment with a customer after the close of business on the business day prior to the scheduled appointment.

(v) If a cable operator representative is running late for an appointment with a customer and will not be able to keep the appointment as scheduled, the customer will be contacted. The appointment will be rescheduled, as necessary, at a time which is convenient for the customer.

(3) Communications between cable operators and cable subscribers -

(i) Refunds - Refund checks will be issued promptly, but no later than either -

(A) The customer's next billing cycle following resolution of the request or thirty (30) days, whichever is earlier, or

(B) The return of the equipment supplied by the cable operator if service is terminated.

(ii) Credits - Credits for service will be issued no later than the customer's next billing cycle following the determination that a credit is warranted.

(4) Definitions -

(i)Normal business hours - The term “normal business hours” means those hours during which most similar businesses in the community are open to serve customers. In all cases, “normal business hours” must include some evening hours at least one night per week and/or some weekend hours.

(ii)Normal operating conditions - The term “normal operating conditions” means those service conditions which are within the control of the cable operator. Those conditions which are not within the control of the cable operator include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, civil disturbances, power outages, telephone network outages, and severe or unusual weather conditions. Those conditions which are ordinarily within the control of the cable operator include, but are not limited to, special promotions, pay-per-view events, rate increases, regular peak or seasonal demand periods, and maintenance or upgrade of the cable system.

(iii)Service interruption - The term “service interruption” means the loss of picture or sound on one or more cable channels.

Note to § 76.309:

Section 76.1602 contains notification requirements for cable operators with regard to operator obligations to subscribers and general information to be provided to customers regarding service. Section 76.1603 contains subscriber notification requirements governing rate and service changes. Section 76.1619 contains notification requirements for cable operators with regard to subscriber bill information and operator response procedures pertaining to bill disputes.

[ 58 FR 21109, Apr. 19, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 18977, Apr. 30, 1996; 65 FR 53615, Sept. 5, 2000; 67 FR 1650, Jan. 14, 2002]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code

§ 151 - Purposes of chapter; Federal Communications Commission created

§ 152 - Application of chapter

§ 153 - Definitions

§ 154 - Federal Communications Commission

§ 301 - License for radio communication or transmission of energy

§ 302 - Repealed. June 5, 1936, ch. 511, § 1, 49 Stat. 1475

§ 302a - Devices which interfere with radio reception

§ 303 - Powers and duties of Commission

§ 303a - Standards for children’s television programming

§ 307 - Licenses

§ 308 - Requirements for license

§ 309 - Application for license

§ 312 - Administrative sanctions

§ 315 - Candidates for public office

§ 317 - Announcement of payment for broadcast

§ 325 - False, fraudulent, or unauthorized transmissions

§ 339 - Carriage of distant television stations by satellite carriers

§ 340 - Significantly viewed signals permitted to be carried

§ 341 - Carriage of television signals to certain subscribers

§ 503 - Forfeitures

§ 521 - Purposes

§ 522 - Definitions

§ 531 - Cable channels for public, educational, or governmental use

§ 532 - Cable channels for commercial use

§ 534 - Carriage of local commercial television signals

§ 535 - Carriage of noncommercial educational television

§ 536 - Regulation of carriage agreements

§ 537 - Sales of cable systems

§ 543 - Regulation of rates

§ 544 - Regulation of services, facilities, and equipment

§ 544a - Consumer electronics equipment compatibility

§ 545 - Modification of franchise obligations

§ 549 - Competitive availability of navigation devices

§ 552 - Consumer protection and customer service

§ 554 - Equal employment opportunity

§ 556 - Coordination of Federal, State, and local authority

§ 558 - Criminal and civil liability

§ 560 - Scrambling of cable channels for nonsubscribers

§ 561 - Scrambling of sexually explicit adult video service programming

§ 571 - Regulatory treatment of video programming services

§ 572 - Prohibition on buy outs

Title 47 published on 02-Mar-2018 03:38

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 47 CFR Part 76 after this date.

  • 2018-02-22; vol. 83 # 36 - Thursday, February 22, 2018
    1. 83 FR 7619 - Cable Television Technical and Operational Standards
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      These rules are effective April 23, 2018, except the amendments to §§ 76.105(b) introductory text, 76.601(b)(1), 76.1610(f) and (g), and 76.1804 introductory text, which contain modified information collection requirements that have not been approved by OMB, subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act. The Federal Communications Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date upon OMB approval. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of April 23, 2018.
      47 CFR Part 76