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Wednesday, 29 January 2014 15:45

Your Rights as an ATC Communications Customer

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This notice contains a summary of the Idaho Public Utility Commission's rules and regulations regarding customer relations and important customer proprietary network information disclosures. It is intended for your information only. We hope it will make you aware of your rights as an ATC customer and will better acquaint you with some of our operating procedures. This is only a summary. Should you need detailed information, the Corporate ATC office has a copy of the complete rules available for your use. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Customer Billing Information. The charge for monthly local telephone service is billed one month in advance. All charges for long distance, message units, installation and changes in service on file at the time the bill is printed will be shown on your current bill.

Rules for Termination of Telephone Service. ATC must follow stringent guidelines before terminating basic local telephone service. Basic local service cannot be terminated for failure to pay long distance charges owed to other companies, which may appear on ATC's monthly bill, if measures to prevent access to other companies' services are available. Whether such measures are available depends upon the type of ATC equipment serving the customer.

Basic local telephone service cannot be terminated if you let us know that you dispute any charges on your telephone bill until the dispute is resolved, but you must continue to pay the undisputed parts of the bill. Telephone service can be disconnected with proper notification for one of the following reasons:

•  Not paying undisputed delinquent charges or paying a delinquent bill with a check not honored by the bank.
•  Failure to make a security deposit.
•  Misrepresentation of identity to receive service.
•  Failure to abide by the terms of a payment arrangement.
• Intentionally wasting or interfering with service through improper equipment or otherwise.
• Failure to apply for service with the telephone company.

Proper Notification. Service cannot be disconnected without first notifying you in writing at least seven (7) days in advance. We must diligently try to notify you in person or by telephone 24 hours before disconnecting service. 24 hour notice will not be given when the customer has received a 7 day written notice within the past 28 days and fails to make a payment in accordance with an agreed-to payment arrangement or pays with a dishonored check.

Restrictions on Terminations. Your local exchange service cannot be disconnected if:
•    A past due balance is less than $50.00 for local exchange service.
•    You are being charged for another customer's bill (unless you have a legal obligation to pay the other customer's bill or you are being charged for any other class of service).
•    You fail to pay for purchase of services such as the following:

o Services not provided by ATC even though they may be billed with ATC services (e.g., 900 charges, operator charges from another company).
o  Inside wire maintenance.
o Long Distance charges by other companies, if we can block access to the other companies' services.

Your telephone service can be disconnected between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and before noon on Fridays. Service cannot be turned off after noon on Fridays, weekends, legally recognized Idaho holidays, or after noon any day before a legally recognized Idaho holiday.

Termination Without Notification. ATC can terminate service without notification only under the five following conditions:
•    A dangerous or hazardous condition exists.
•    Service was obtained without authorization or knowledge of the telephone company.
•    By order of any court, the Public Utilities Commission, or any other authorized public authority.
•    If we have diligently tried to notify you but have been unsuccessful in our attempts to contact you.
•    You have misrepresented your identity, have inadequate security with the company, and have an outstanding bill exceeding $100.00.

Payment Arrangements/Partial Payments/Disputed Charges. If you cannot pay the entire bill, payment arrangements can be made with us to pay part of the amount immediately and the remainder in installments. A payment schedule will be developed that is individually tailored to your need and ability to pay.

If you cannot pay a bill in full, or if you dispute a portion of the charges, you may tell us how to apply your partial payment to charges for local service.

Partial payments will be applied toward local exchange service charges first, unless the customer requests otherwise. Charges for services other than local exchange services cannot be used as a basis for disconnection. If you want to avoid disconnection of your local service, it is wise to direct that your partial payment first be applied to the charges for that service.

Unauthorized Change to Another Long Distance Company. Your long distance company cannot be changed without your permission. If your service is changed without your permission, and the change results in a charge, you must notify us. We will remove the charge from your bill and impose the charge on the telephone company which had requested the change unless that company can verify that the customer authorized the change and was informed of the charge for the change.

Medical Emergencies. You can delay termination of service for 30 days by obtaining a certificate from a doctor or public health official stating that a medical emergency exists or would be aggravated if your phone service were disconnected.

A second extension may be granted if another certificate is presented. Payment arrangements must be made before the 30-day expiration date. The certificate must be signed by the person diagnosing the medical condition and must name the person affected.

Rules For Deposit. We may ask you to pay a deposit if a deposit is required. A deposit is required only if:
•    You have not paid an undisputed bill with any telephone company for service in the past 4 years.
•    Your service was terminated for any of the following reasons:

o      Nonpayment of any undisputed delinquent bill.
o     Misrepresentation of your identity for the purpose of  obtaining telephone service.
o      Failure to pay for damages caused by negligence.
o      Obtaining or using service without authorization.

•    You file for bankruptcy.
•    You do not have verifiable previous telephone service and do not pass an objective credit screen.
•    You provide materially false information on your application
•    You request service at a residence where a former customer still resides and a balance is past due or still owing on the former customer's bill.

What if a deposit is required? If we require a deposit or deny you service, you may request a written explanation and will be given a chance to discuss that decision with us. If you pay a deposit you have the right to a receipt. Interest will be paid from the date the deposit is taken and until refunded or applied. Deposits, with interest will be refunded promptly when you maintain good credit for three (3) consecutive months. The amount of the deposit shall not exceed two (2) months charges for basic local telephone service plus two (2) months estimated or average charges for long distance service.

Complaint Procedure. You may, at any time, file a complaint and request a conference with us. After we receive a complaint, we will start an investigation immediately. The results will be given to you and you will be given an opportunity to discuss the results. If you are still dissatisfied, a complaint may be taken to the Idaho Public Utilities Commission for review. Service will not be turned off during any part of this complaint procedure IF ALL UNDISPUTED PARTS OF THE BILL ARE PAID.

Upon receipt of notice from the Commission of an informal complaint from a telephone customer, the Company must respond to the Commission within 10 days unless an extension of time is requested by the Company and granted by the Commission.

Important Notice Concerning Purchase of Goods and Services by Telephone. You have important rights under the Idaho Telephone Solicitation Act. Under this Act, it is illegal for persons attempting to sell you goods or services by telephone (telephone solicitors):
•    To intimidate or harass you in connection with the attempted sale.
•    To refuse to hang up and free your telephone line immediately once you request them to do so
•    To misstate the price, quality, or availability of goods or services or to fail to reveal all material terms relating to the sale of goods or services.
•    To advertise, represent or imply that they have the endorsement of any government office or agency when they do not.
•    To advertise, represent or imply that they have a valid registration number with the Attorney General when they do not.
•    To use any unfair method of competition or unfair or deceptive practice.

Any person not yet 18 years old who purchases goods or services pursuant to a telephone solicitation may cancel the purchase within a reasonable time after the purchase is made.
No parent or legal guardian having custody of a person not yet 18 years old is liable for the purchase of goods and services by a person not yet 18 years old pursuant to telephone solicitation.

When you agree to purchase goods or services over the telephone, you may have a right to reconsider and cancel your agreement for three business days after receiving a written confirmation of the sale. A person whose rights are violated by telephone solicitors may have the right to declare a contract of purchase null and void or invoke other remedies under the Idaho Consumer Protection Act. If you believe that a telephone solicitor has done any unlawful acts, you may contact the Attorney General's office for assistance and information at:

1-800-432-3545 (toll free) or 334-2424 (Boise area)

Visit www.donotcall.gov for the National Do Not Call Registry

Idaho Telecommunications Relay Service. The Idaho Telecommunications Relay Service allows individuals with a speech and/or hearing disability and hearing individuals to communicate via the telephone. Calls may be initiated by either text telephone or voice customers. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, the Idaho Telecommunications Relay Service is ready to provide you with efficient, confidential communications services. If you would like more information about the Idaho Telecommunications Relay Service, please call 1-800-368-6185 (Voice or TT).

Idaho has activated abbreviated dialing to access the Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing 711 .

To Access the Relay Toll-Free dial: 1-800-377-3529 (TT) 1-800-377-1363 (Voice)

 

FIber Subscribers Only:

Backup Power for Home Phone Services During Power Outages. For many years, your home phone would allow you to stay connected to emergency voice services during a power outage. However, newer fiber-connected homes require backup battery power to continue functioning during an outage. To avoid a disruption of home voice service during an outage and to maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services, ATC has provided a backup battery for your home.

What Your Battery Can and Can’t Do. Without a backup battery or alternate backup source such as a generator, you will not be able to make any calls, including emergency calls to 911. The only way to maintain the ability to use your phone is by using some form of backup power. Fortunately ATC’s backup battery allows you to continue to use your home voice services during a power outage. Cordless phone systems, home security systems, medical monitoring devices, desktop computers and other equipment that require AC power will not run on the backup battery that ATC provides. If you wish to use Internet services during a power outage your router (if equipped) must also be powered by a separate battery backup.

Expected Backup Power Duration and Care of Your Battery. Backup batteries are expected to last at least 8 hours on standby power. The battery should give you 6 hours of talk time. Cold weather can adversely affect the standby power of your backup battery. It is important to follow the instructions included with your battery on proper use and care to ensure that it will function as needed during a power outage. Environmental factors such as temperature can shorten your battery’s useful life. These batteries have a lifespan of 2-3 years and will not last forever.

Purchase and Replacement Options. ATC has provided you with your first battery at no cost. Replacement batteries can be purchased directly through ATC. If you have any questions or simply want to purchase a backup battery you can contact your local retail store.

CUSTOMER PROPRIETARY NETWORK INFORMATION

Recent changes in federal law allow us to use information about your current telecommunications services to inform you about other products and services that will best meet your communications needs, unless you notify us otherwise.

What is this "information?" This information called "Customer Proprietary Network Information" or "CPNI." relating to the telecommunications services you currently are buying. This information includes service types, the way we provide those services, call volumes and detail, and billing data.

How can we use this "information?" If you consent, this information may be used to advise you about innovative communications service proposals or new communications technology and products that are tailored to meet your telecommunications service needs.

Who will be able to use this information? Only those companies that now or in the future sell our services, including our agents, contractors and joint-venture partners. Plus, our current or future affiliates and subsidiaries will be able to use this information to market their communications-related products to you. These include ATC Long Distance, ATC Internet, and Syringa Wireless.

Will we protect this information? Yes. You have the right, and we have the duty, under federal law, to protect the confidentiality of this information. Therefore, regardless of whether you consent or not, your account information will be treated confidentially.

What action is necessary on my part to show consent? No action on your part is necessary. If you do not contact us within 30 days of receipt of this notice, and indicate that we may not use the information, we may use it in the manner described.

What if I don't consent? You may not be able to learn about innovative service proposals, new technology or offerings, or "package" discounts. However, any denial or withdrawal of consent on your part will not affect the provision of any services we are furnishing you.

If I consent, can I change my mind? Yes. You can contact us to indicate that you are withdrawing or limiting your approval of our use of your CPNI. Until you do so, however, your consent is valid.

How do I contact you? Contact us here.


We look forward to being able to serve you even more effectively with new communications products and solutions. Use of the information on your current account will allow us to inform you about services that will best meet your specific telecommunications needs.

 

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