Or. Admin. R. 860-021-0015 - Dispute Resolution

(1) When a dispute occurs between a customer or applicant and a utility about any charge or service, the utility must:
(a) Thoroughly investigate the matter;
(b) Promptly report the results of its investigation to the complainant;
(c) Inform the complainant of the right to have a utility supervisor review any dispute;
(d) Prepare a written record of the dispute including the name and address of the complainant involved, the date the complaint was received, the issues in dispute, and the disposition of the matter; and
(e) Retain records of the dispute for at least 36 months after the investigation is closed.
(2) If the utility and complainant cannot resolve the dispute, the utility must inform the complainant of the right to contact the Commission's Consumer Services Section and request assistance in resolving the dispute. The utility must provide the following contact information for the Commission's Consumer Services Section:
(a) Telephone: 503-378-6600; 1-800-522-2404; TTY 711;
(b) Mailing address: Public Utility Commission of Oregon, Consumer Services Section, PO Box 1088, Salem, Oregon 97308;
(c) Physical address: Public Utility Commission of Oregon, 201 High Street SE, Suite 100, Salem, Oregon 97301;
(d) Electronic mail address: puc.consumer@puc.oregon.gov; and
(e) Website: https://apps.puc.state.or.us/consumer/complaint.asp.
(3) The Consumer Services Section will investigate any dispute upon request to determine whether it can be resolved as an informal complaint.
(4) If the Consumer Services Section cannot resolve the dispute the complainant may file a formal written complaint with the Commission under ORS 756.500. The formal complaint must be submitted on an approved form available from the Consumer Services Section.
(a) The complaint must be filed electronically with the Filing Center at PUC.FilingCenter@puc.oregon.gov;
(b) If complainant does not have access to electronic mail;
(A) The complaint may be mailed, faxed, or delivered to the Filing Center at the address set out in OAR 860-001-0140; and
(B) The complaint must include a request for waiver of electronic service and filing requirements. This request is included on the form available from the Commission's Consumer Services Section.
(c) The Commission will serve the complaint on the utility. The Commission may electronically serve the utility with the complaint if the electronic mail address is verified prior to service of the complaint and the delivery receipt is maintained in the official file;
(d) The utility must answer the complaint within 15 days of service of the complaint by the Commission; and
(e) The Commission will determine a procedural schedule after the utility's answer is filed. The utility must serve a copy of its answer on the complainant:
(A) If the utility files a motion to dismiss, the complainant may file a response within 15 days of the motion. If the complainant responds, the complainant must file the response with the Filing Center and send a copy to the utility. The Commission may make a decision on the formal complaint based on the information in the complaint, the utility's response and motion to dismiss, and the complainant's response to the utility's motion; or
(B) The Commission may set a procedural schedule for the complaint proceedings, including but not limited to, scheduling dates for receiving additional information from the parties, telephone conferences, or a hearing. A hearing may be held on less than 10 days' notice when good cause is shown.
(5) Upon filing a formal complaint, the complainant may request a hearing to determine whether the complainant is entitled to continued or restored service pending the resolution of the complaint. Unless extraordinary circumstances exist, the Commission will conduct the hearing electronically within 3 business days. Notice of the hearing will be provided to the complainant and the utility at least 12 hours before the date and time of the hearing. Pending resolution of the dispute, the complainant's obligation to pay undisputed amounts continues.
(6) A complainant who has a registered dispute or formal complaint pending with the Commission is entitled to continued or restored service when:
(a) Service was not terminated for tampering with utility property, stealing, diverting, or using unauthorized service, or failure to establish credit;
(b) A bona fide dispute exists in which the facts asserted entitle the complainant to service;
(c) Termination is based on nonpayment, and the customer agrees to pay undisputed charges; and
(d) The complainant diligently pursues conflict resolution under the Commission's rules.
(7) If the conditions in section (6) of this rule are not satisfied, the utility has no obligation to provide continued service. A utility discontinuing service because of a failure to meet the conditions of subsections (6)(c) or (6)(d) of this rule must give the customer five-day notice served in the same manner as provided by OAR 860-021-0405 or 860-021-0505, whichever applies, except the notice need only describe the defect in performance, the date and time when utility service will terminate, and the toll-free number of the Commission's Consumer Services Section.


Or. Admin. R. 860-021-0015
PUC 164, f. 4-18-74. ef. 5-11-74 (Order No. 74-307); PUC 5-1983, f. 5-31-83, ef. 6-1-83 (Order No. 83-284); PUC 12-1983, f. & ef. 10-7-83 (Order No. 83-623); PUC 1-1985, f. & ef. 2-1-85 (Order No. 85-075); PUC 4-1985, f. & ef, 4-22-85 (Order No. 85-350); PUC 5-1987, f. & ef. 7-2-87 (Order No. 87-723); PUC 16-1990, f. 9-28-90, cert. ef. 10-1-90 (Order No. 90-1105); PUC 11-1998, f. & ef. 5-7-98 (Order No. 98-188); PUC 8-1999, f. & cert. ef. 10-18-99; PUC 19-2001, f. & cert. ef. 6-21-01; PUC 11-2003, f. & cert. ef. 7-3-03; PUC 6-2013, f. & cert. ef. 8-7-13; PUC 1-2015, f. & cert. ef. 3/3/2015; PUC 10-2022, amend filed 09/30/2022, effective 9/30/2022

Statutory/Other Authority: ORS 183, ORS 756, ORS 757 & ORS 759

Statutes/Other Implemented: ORS 756.040, ORS 756.500 & ORS 756.512

State regulations are updated quarterly; we currently have two versions available. Below is a comparison between our most recent version and the prior quarterly release. More comparison features will be added as we have more versions to compare.