Utah Department of Administrative Services Division of Administrative Rules

Utah Administrative Code

The Utah Administrative Code is the body of all effective administrative rules as compiled and organized by the Division of Administrative Rules (Subsection 63G-3-102(5); see also Sections 63G-3-701 and 702).

NOTE: For a list of rules that have been made effective since August 1, 2014, please see the codification segue page.

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R746. Public Service Commission, Administration.

Rule R746-240. Telecommunication Service Rules.

As in effect on August 1, 2014

Table of Contents

R746-240-1. General Provisions.

A. Authorization--The Utah Public Utility Code Sections 54-1-1, 54-4-4, 54-4-7, 54-4-8, and 54-4- 14.

B. Title--These rules shall be known and may be cited as the Utah Service Rules for Telecommunication Corporations.

C. Purpose--The purpose of these rules is to establish and enforce uniform telecommunications service practices and procedures governing eligibility, deposits, account billing, termination and deferred payment agreements.

D. Objective--The objective of these rules is to assure the adequate provision of residential and business telecommunications service, to restrict unreasonable termination of or refusal to provide residential and business telecommunications service, to provide functional alternatives to termination or refusal to provide residential or business telecommunications service, and to establish and enforce fair and equitable procedures governing eligibility, deposits, account billing, termination and deferred payment agreements.

E. Nondiscrimination--Telecommunications service shall be provided to qualified persons without regard to employment, occupation, race, handicap, creed, sex, national origin, marital status, or number of dependents.

F. Requirement of Good Faith--Every agreement or obligation within these rules imposes an obligation of good faith, honest, and fair dealings in its performance and enforcement.

G. Application of Rules--These telecommunications service rules shall apply to each telecommunications corporation operating within Utah under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission.

1. A telecommunications corporation may petition the Commission for an exemption from specified portions of these rules in accordance with R746-100-15, Deviation from Rules.

2. The adoption of these rules by the Commission shall in no way preclude it from altering or amending a specific rule pursuant to applicable statutory procedures.

H. Customer's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities--When telecommunications service is extended to an account holder, and annually thereafter, a local exchange carrier shall provide a copy of the "Customer's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" as approved by the Public Service Commission. This statement shall be a single page document. It shall be prominently displayed in each customer service center.

R746-240-2. General Definitions.

A. "Account Holder"--A person, corporation, partnership, or other entity which has agreed with a telecommunications corporation to pay for receipt of telecommunications services and to which the utility provides the telecommunications services.

B. "Applicant"--A person, corporation, partnership, or other entity that applies to a telecommunications corporation for local access line services.

C. "Local Exchange Carrier/LEC"--A telecommunications corporation that provides the local access line services within the geographic territory authorized by the Commission.

D. "Deferred Payment Agreement"--An agreement to receive or to continue to receive telecommunications service pursuant to Section R746-240-5, Deferred Payment Agreement, and to pay an outstanding debt or delinquent account owed to a telecommunications corporation.

R746-240-3. Deposits and Eligibility for Service.

A. Deposits and Guarantees--

1. Telecommunications corporations not subject to pricing flexibility pursuant to 54-8b-2.3 shall have Commission approved tariffs on file relating to their security deposits and third party guarantor polices and procedures. Telecommunications corporations subject to pricing flexibility shall include any terms and conditions relating to their security deposits and third party guarantor policies and procedures in their price lists.

2. Simple interest shall accrue on a deposit and shall be paid at the time the deposit is either refunded or applied to the customer's final bill for service. The interest rate used by a telecommunications corporation shall be set by the Commission.

B. Eligibility for Service--

1. Telecommunications service is to be conditioned upon payment of deposits, when required, and of the outstanding debts for past telecommunications service which are owed by the applicant to that telecommunications corporation, subject to Section R746-240-7 Review and Resolution of Disputes, and Section R746-240-8, Formal Agency Proceedings Based Upon Complaint Review. That service may be denied when unsafe conditions exist, when the applicant has given false information in applying for telecommunications service, or when the applicant has tampered with the telecommunications corporation's lines, equipment, or other properties.

2. When an applicant is unable to pay an outstanding debt in full, service may be provided upon execution of a deferred payment agreement as set forth in Section R746-240-5, Deferred Payment Agreement.

3. An applicant is ineligible for service if at the time of application, the applicant is cohabiting with a delinquent account holder, previously terminated for non-payment, and the applicant and the delinquent account holder received the telecommunications corporation's service, whether the service was received at the applicant's present address or another address.

R746-240-4. Account Billing.

A. Billing Procedures--

1. Bills to account holders for telecommunications services shall be issued on a monthly basis and shall be typed or machine printed.

B. Periodic Billing Statement--

1. Except in the case of telecommunications service which is deemed to be uncollectible or with respect to which collection or termination procedures have been instituted, a telecommunications corporation shall mail or deliver to the account holder, for each billing cycle at the end of which there is an outstanding balance for current service, a statement which the account holder may retain, setting forth each of the following disclosures to the extent applicable:

a. the outstanding balance in the account at the beginning of the current billing cycle using a term such as "previous balance";

b. the amount of the charges debited to the account during the current billing cycle using a term such as "current service";

c. the amount of the payments made to the account from the previous billing cycle using a term, such as "payments";

d. the amount of the late payment charges debited to the account during the current billing cycle using a term, such as "late charge";

e. a listing of the closing date of the current billing cycle and the outstanding balance in the account on that date using a term, such as "amount due";

f. a listing of the statement, or payment, due date;

g. a listing of the date by which payment of the new balance must be made to avoid assessment of a late charge;

h. a statement that a late charge, expressed in annual percentage rate or periodic rate, may be assessed against the account for late payment;

i. a statement such as: "If you have questions about this bill, please call the company at--phone #".

C. Late Charge--

1. A late payment charge of a periodic rate as established by the Commission may be assessed against an unpaid balance pursuant to specific tariffs approved by the Commission for telecommunications corporations not subject to pricing flexibility pursuant to 54-8b-2.3. Late payment charges shall not apply if payment is made before the next bill is rendered by the telecommunications corporation. A late payment charge may be assessed against an unpaid balance pursuant to terms and conditions in price lists of telecommunications corporations subject to pricing flexibility.

2. No other charge, whether described as a finance charge, service charge, discount, net or gross charge may be applied to an account for failure to pay an outstanding bill by the statement due date. This subsection does not apply to reconnection charges or return check service charges.

D. Statement Due Date--An account holder shall have not less than 20 days from the bill date to pay the new balance, which date shall be the statement due date.

E. Disputed Bill--

1. In the event of a dispute between the account holder and the telecommunications corporation respecting a bill, the telecommunications corporation may require the account holder to pay the undisputed portion of the bill to avoid discontinuance of service for nonpayment. The telecommunications corporation shall make an investigation as may be appropriate to the particular case, and report the result thereof to the account holder. In the event the dispute is not reconciled, the telecommunications corporation shall advise the account holder that he may make application to the Division of Public Utilities for review and disposition of the matter per Section R746-240-7, Review and Resolution of Disputes.

2. Inaccurately billed service--When the billings for telecommunications services have not been accurately determined because of the telecommunications corporation's omission or negligence, the telecommunications corporation shall offer and enter into reasonable payment arrangements when the amount owed by the customer exceeds $25 and when the period over which the underbilling accumulated exceeds one month. When a telecommunications corporation overbills a customer for telecommunications service, the telecommunications corporation shall offer the account holder a credit on future bills or a refund if requested by the account holder.

3. Interruption of service--In the event the account holder's service is interrupted, other than by the negligence or the willful act of the account holder, and it remains out of service for a specified number of hours, after being reported or found by the telecommunications corporation to be out of order, credit adjustments shall be made to the account holder's billing. The specified number of hours, which can be either 24 or 48, and the adjustment methods will be as shown in the tariffs of each telecommunications corporation and approved by the Commission for telecommunications corporations that are not subject to pricing flexibility pursuant to 54-8b-2.3 or in the price lists of each telecommunications corporation that is subject to pricing flexibility.

R746-240-5. Deferred Payment Agreement.

A. Delinquent Account--

1. An account holder who is unable to pay a delinquent account balance on demand may be able to receive telecommunications services under a deferred payment agreement, if such an agreement is offered by the LEC.

2. When a telecommunications corporation offers a form of a deferred payment agreement, the account holder can prevent disconnection, or be reconnected, by negotiating and executing a deferred payment agreement and paying the first installment at the telecommunications corporation's business office. Within two working days after the account holder makes the first installment payment, telecommunications service will be reconnected.

3. After negotiating a deferred payment agreement, the account holder shall pay the current bills for service plus the monthly installment necessary to liquidate the delinquent bill.

4. A deferred payment agreement may include a late payment charge as authorized for the telecommunications corporation by the Commission.

B. Breach--If an account holder breaches a condition or term of a deferred payment agreement, the telecommunications corporation may treat that breach as a delinquent account and shall have the right to terminate service without further notice.

R746-240-6. Termination.

A. Delinquent Account--

1. A service bill which has remained unpaid beyond the statement due date is a delinquent account. A telecommunications corporation shall not consider an account holder's bill past due unless it remains unpaid for a period of 20 calendar days after the billing date printed on the bill.

2. When an account is delinquent, the telecommunications corporation, before termination, shall issue a written late notice to inform the account holder of the delinquent status. A late notice or reminder notice must include the following information:

a. a statement that the account is a delinquent account and should be paid promptly;

b. a statement that the account holder should communicate with the telecommunications corporation's collection department, by calling the company, if the account holder has questions concerning the account;

c. a statement of the delinquent account balance, using a term such as "delinquent account balance."

3. When the account holder responds to a late notice or reminder notice, the telecommunications corporation's collections personnel shall investigate any disputed issue and shall attempt to resolve that issue by negotiation. If the dispute is not resolved, the telecommunications corporation's collection personnel shall inform the account holder that he may make application to the Division of Public Utilities for a review and disposition pursuant to Section R746-240-7, Review and Resolution of Disputes. During this investigation and negotiation and a subsequent review by the Division of Public Utilities no other action shall be taken to terminate the local access service if the account holder pays the undisputed portion of the account, subject to the telecommunications corporation's right to terminate service pursuant to R746-240-6(D), Termination Without Notice.

B. Reasons for Termination--

1. Service may be terminated by a telecommunications corporation for the following reasons:

a. nonpayment of billed and delinquent charges, deposits, deferred payments owed to the telecommunications corporation;

b. abusive use of the telephone services in a manner that interferes with the service of another person;

c. intentionally using the service in a manner that causes wrongful billing charges to another person;

d. intentionally using the service to transmit messages or to locate a person to give or obtain information, without payment of appropriate message charges;

e. using the service with fraudulent intent by impersonating someone else;

f. using the service for unlawful purposes;

g. tampering with or destroying company lines, equipment or other properties;

h. subterfuge or deliberately furnishing false information when applying for and obtaining telephone services;

i. abandonment of the service.

2. The following shall be insufficient grounds for termination of service:

a. a delinquent account, accrued prior to the commencement of a divorce or separate maintenance action in the courts, in the name of a former spouse;

b. cohabitation of a current account holder with one who is a delinquent account holder who was previously terminated for non-payment, unless the current and delinquent account holders also cohabited during the time the delinquent account holder received the telecommunications corporation's service, whether such service was received at the current account holder's present address or another address;

c. when the delinquent account balance is $15.00, or less, except when a delinquent balance has accrued for more than 3 months.

d. delinquency in payment for service by a previous occupant at the premises to be served other than a member of the same family or household;

e. failure to pay any amount in a bona fide dispute before the Division or Commission.

C. Medical Emergency/Medical Facilities--

1. A local exchange carrier shall postpone discontinuance of service of a residential customer for 30 days from the date of a certificate of a licensed physician which states that discontinuance of service will aggravate an existing medical emergency or create a medical emergency for the customer, a member of his family, or other permanent resident on the premises where service is rendered. This postponement shall be limited to a single 30-day period or a lesser period as may be agreed upon by the telecommunications corporation and the account holder. A person whose health is threatened or illness aggravated may petition the Commission for an extension of time.

2. The notice or certificate of medical emergency must be in writing and show clearly the name of the person whose illness would be exacerbated by discontinuance of service, the nature of the medical emergency, the specific manner in which the discontinuance of service will aggravate or create a medical emergency, and the name, title, and signature of the physician certifying the medical emergency.

3. In instances when discontinuance of service is delayed for medical reasons, the telecommunications corporation may restrict the ability of the account holder to place toll calls. The account holder shall pay the appropriate rates for toll restriction service.

D. Termination Without Notice--A telecommunications corporation may terminate local access without notice when, in its judgment, a clear emergency or serious health or safety hazard exists, or when there is unauthorized use of or diversion of a telecommunications corporation service or tampering with lines, or other property owned by the telecommunications corporation. The telecommunications corporation shall notify the account holder of the reason for the termination of service.

E. Notice of Proposed Termination--The account holder shall be notified in writing of the telecommunications corporation's intention to discontinue service and be allowed no less than seven days from the mailing date to respond to the notice. Notices of proposed discontinuance of service shall state:

1. the reasons for and date of scheduled discontinuance of service;

2. actions which the account holder may take to avoid discontinuance of service;

3. a statement of the customer's rights and responsibilities under existing state law and Commission rules.

F. Effort to Contact the Account Holder--

1. On the business day prior to actual discontinuance of telecommunications service, a representative of the telecommunications corporation shall make a reasonable effort to contact the account holder affected, either in person or by telephone, to apprise the account holder of the proposed action and steps to take to avoid or delay discontinuance. This oral notice shall include the same information required for written notice. Each local exchange carrier shall maintain clear, written records of these oral notices, showing dates and names of employees giving the notices.

2. The telecommunications corporation shall make reasonable efforts to personally contact a third party designated by the residential account holder before termination occurs, if the third party resides within its service area. The telecommunications corporation shall inform its account holders of the third party notification procedure in its statement of customer rights and responsibilities.

G. Termination--Upon expiration of the notice of proposed termination, the telecommunications corporation may terminate service.

H. Account Holder Requested Termination--An account holder shall advise a telecommunications corporation at least three days in advance of the day on which he wants local access service disconnected. The telecommunications corporation shall disconnect the service within one working day of the requested disconnect date. The account holder shall not be liable for services rendered to or at the address or location after 11:59 p.m. of the requested disconnect date.

R746-240-7. Review and Resolution of Disputes.

A. Informal Review--A person who is unable to resolve a dispute with a telecommunications corporation concerning a matter subject to Public Service Commission jurisdiction may obtain informal review of the dispute by a designated employee within the Division of Public Utilities. Upon receipt of a request for informal review, the Division employee shall, within one business day, notify the telecommunications corporation that an informal complaint has been filed. Absent unusual circumstances, the telecommunications corporation shall attempt to resolve the complaint within five business days. In no circumstance shall the telecommunications corporation fail to respond to the informal complaint within five business days. The response shall advise the complainant and the Division employee regarding the results of the telecommunications corporation's investigation and a proposed solution to the dispute or provide a timetable to complete any investigation and propose a solution. The telecommunications corporation shall make reasonable efforts to complete any investigation and resolve the dispute within 30 calendar days. A proposed solution may be that the telecommunications corporation requests that the informal complaint be dismissed if, in good faith, it believes the complaint is without merit. The telecommunications corporation shall inform the Division employee of the telecommunications corporation's response to the complaint, the proposed solution and the complainant's acceptance or rejection of the proposed solution and shall keep the Division employee informed as to the progress made with respect to the resolution and final disposition of the informal complaint. If, after 30 calendar days from the receipt of a request for informal review, the Division employee has received no information that the complainant has accepted a proposed solution or otherwise completely resolved the complaint with the telecommunications corporations, the complaint shall be presumed to be unresolved.

B. Mediation--If the telecommunications corporation or the complainant determines that they cannot resolve the dispute by themselves, either of them may request that the Division attempt to mediate the dispute. When a mediation request is made, the Division employee shall inform the other party within five business days of the mediation request. The other party shall either accept or reject the mediation request within ten business days after the date of the mediation request, and so advise the mediation requesting party and the Division employee. If mediation is accepted by both parties or the complaint continues to be unresolved 30 calendar days after receipt, the Division employee shall further investigate and evaluate the dispute, considering both the customer's complaint and the telecommunications corporation's response, their past efforts to resolve the dispute, and try to mediate a resolution between the complainant and the telecommunications corporation. Mediation efforts may continue for 30 days or until the Division employee informs the parties that the Division has determined that mediation is not likely to result in a mutually acceptable resolution, whichever is shorter.

C. Division Access to Information During Informal Review or Mediation--The telecommunications corporation and the complainant shall provide documents, data or other information requested by the Division, to evaluate the complaint within five business days of the Division's request, if reasonably possible or as expeditiously as possible if they cannot be provided within five business days.

D. Commission Review--If the telecommunications corporation has proposed that the complaint be dismissed from informal review for lack of merit and the Division concurs in the disposition, if either party has rejected mediation or if mediation efforts are unsuccessful and the Division has not been able to assist the parties in reaching a mutually accepted resolution of the informal dispute, or the dispute is otherwise unresolved between the parties, the Division in all cases shall inform the complainant of the right to petition the Commission for a review of the dispute, and shall make available to the complainant a standardized complaint form with instructions approved by the Commission. The Division itself may petition the Commission for review of a dispute in any case which the Division determines appropriate. While a complainant is proceeding with an informal review or mediation by the Division or a Commission review of a dispute, no termination of telecommunications service shall be permitted, if amounts not disputed are paid when due, subject to the telecommunications corporation's right to terminate service pursuant to R746-240-6(D), Termination Without Notice.

R746-240-8. Formal Agency Proceedings Based Upon Complaint Review.

The Commission, upon its own motion, the petition of the Division of Public Utilities, or any person, may initiate formal hearings or investigative proceedings upon a matter arising out of an informal complaint.

KEY

procedures, telecommunications, telephones

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment

August 8, 2005

Notice of Continuation

June 24, 2013

Authorizing, Implemented, or Interpreted Law

54-4-1; 54-4-7; 54-7-9


Additional Information

Contact

For questions regarding the content or application of rules under Title R746, please contact the promulgating agency (Public Service Commission, Administration). A list of agencies with links to their homepages is available at http://www.utah.gov/government/agencylist.html or from http://www.rules.utah.gov/contact/agencycontacts.htm.