Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 515-12-1-.04 - Customer Relations

Current through Rules and Regulations filed through April 4, 2022

(1) Rate and Special Charges Information. Upon the request of any customer or applicant, the telephone utility shall provide an explanation of the rates, charges, and provisions applicable to the service furnished or available to such customer or applicant, and shall provide any information and assistance necessary to enable him to obtain the most economical communications service conforming to his stated needs. Applicants for residential telephone service shall be advised as to alternate services available to meet their state communications requirements. This information may include printed explanations of alternate services and rates. Correspondingly, the utility shall notify residential customers of any service connection charge to be applied to their bills prior to undertaking any action and shall provide an estimate of the initial billing for basic monthly service (including fractional monthly amounts) plus any other applicable charges.
(2) The customer shall be provided with an estimate of the charges where special charges not specifically set forth in a utility's tariff are levied on the basis of actual cost for such items as extraordinary construction, maintenance, or replacement costs of expenses, overtime work at the customer's request, and special installations, equipment and assemblies.
(3) Business Offices.
(a) Business offices shall be staffed to provide customers and others with convenient access to qualified personnel, including supervisory personnel where warranted, to provide information relating to services and rates, accept and process applications for service, explain charges on customers' bills, adjust charges made in error and to generally act as representatives of the utility. If one business office serves several communities, toll-free calling from such communities to that office shall be provided.
(b) Qualified personnel shall be instructed to be courteous, considerate, efficient and available to promptly serve those who contact the business office.
(4) Customer Billing.
(a) Bills to customers shall be typed or machine printed, rendered regularly, and shall contain a listing of all charges and the period of time covered by the billing. The local service charges may be shown as a single item even though they include extensions and other items for which a flat monthly charge is made. The telephone company shall provide the customer with a breakdown of local service charges upon request. Statements itemizing message toll charges, if applicable, shall be included in bills to customers, with the exception of coin telephone message toll charges, which will be provided upon customer request.
(b) With the written consent of the customer, a company may provide regular billing in electronic form if the bill meets all requirements of this rule. The company must maintain a record of the customer's request, and the customer may change from electronic to printed billing upon written request.
(c) If a company is delayed in billing a customer, the company must offer arrangements that are equal to the length of time the bill is delayed beyond the regularly scheduled billing interval (e.g., if the bill includes two months delayed charges, the customer must be allowed to pay the charges over two months).
(d) Basic local exchange services may not be denied, interrupted or discontinued for failure of the billed party to pay any portion of the charges billed for non-regulated telecommunications services and/or non-telecommunications services or items. Further, in the case of partial payments of bills rendered, such partial payments shall be applied to amounts owed for basic local exchange services first before being applied to amounts owed for non-regulated and/or non-telecommunications services.
(e) In the event of a dispute between the customer and the utility respecting any bill, the utility may require the customer to pay the disputed portion of the bill to avoid discontinuance of service for non-payment. The utility shall make such investigation as may be appropriate to the particular case, and report the result thereof to the customer. In the event the dispute is not reconciled, the company shall advise the customer that he or she may make application to the Commission for review and disposition of the matter.
(f) In the event the customer's service is interrupted other than by the negligence or willful act of the customer and it remains out of order for more than 24 hours (but not including Saturday and Sunday if part of the first 24 hours) after being reported or found to be out of order, upon request appropriate adjustments shall be made to the customer. In the event the customer's service is disconnected or interrupted for non-payment and it remains disconnected or interrupted for more than 24 hours (but not including Saturday and Sunday if part of the first 24 hours), upon request appropriate adjustments shall be made to the customer.
(5) Public Information. Access to the following information shall be made available at the business office upon request.
(a) Copies of all tariffs as described in Rule 515-12-1-.02 applicable to the area served by the business office.
(b) Maps showing exchange, base rate area and zone (if applicable) boundaries in sufficient size and detail from which all customer locations can be determined and mileage or zone charges quoted.
(c) Publicly announced information as to the present and intended future availability of specific classes of service at an applicant's location.
(d) Publicly announced information concerning plans for major service changes in the area served by the business office.
(e) Information pertaining to service and rates as proposed in pending tariff or rate change filing.
(f) Copies of these telephone service rules.

Notes

Ga. Comp. R. & Regs. R. 515-12-1-.04
Ga. L. 1878-79, p. 125, 1907, p. 72, 1922, pp. 143, 144, 1964, p. 338, 1965, p. 283, 1973, pp. 677 to 681, 1975, Sec. 2, p. 406.
Original Rule entitled "Customer Relations" adopted. F. Dec. 29, 1975; eff. 1/1/1976, as specified by Ga. L. 1975, p. 411. Amended: F. Nov. 26, 2002; eff. 12/16/2002.

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