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No automatic dialing announcing device can be connected to the local telephone 8. If equal access is available, you have the right to select the Long Distance Carrier of


service provider's network unless it complies with Federal Communications your choice provided the carrier is operating within your service area. Commission (FCC) rules. Autodialers used to transmit artificial or prerecorded voice 9. Prior to telephone service being disconnected for non-payment, you have the right to messages should automatically release the called party's line within 5 seconds of that written notice from the telephone utility that you have five (5) days to make settlement party's hang-up signal reaching the caller's dialing system. on your account. In cases involving abnormal and excessive use of toll service, service For your protection, your local telephone service provider is able to detect fraudulent may be denied two (2) days after written notice is given to the customer, unless calls. Defrauding or attempting to defraud a telephone company of its lawful charges is satisfactory arrangements for payment are made. prohibited by state and federal laws. 10. If the telephone utility has overcharged or undercharged you, you have the right to Intentional and/or willful damage or destruction to coin telephones is classified as an adjustment as allowed by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina's rules criminal mischief. Punishment could include a prison sentence of two-to-ten years and/ and regulations. or a fine up to $10,000. When you call toll-free and cost-per-call numbers (see page 8, Area Code listings 11. You have the right to contact the telephone utility at all hours in case of emergency under WATS and CPC numbers), the telephone number you're calling from may or unscheduled interruptions in your telephone service. be transmitted to the company you called. Your number could be available to that company's service representative before your call is answered. 12. You have the right to have questions or complaints promptly and thoroughly investigated by the telephone utility. CUSTOMER BILL OF RIGHTS 13. If you need assistance with a complaint against your telephone utility that you The South Carolina Public Service Commission wants telephone utility customers to cannot resolve by dealing with the telephone utility on your own, you have the right know their rights and responsibilities and who to contact for assistance when they have to call on the Office of Regulatory Staff's Consumer Services Department. Consumer questions or problems regarding regulated telecommunications service(s). Services will work with you and the telephone utility in an effort to resolve your complaint. The Office of Regulatory Staff is located in Columbia and can be reached by BE AN INFORMED CUSTOMER. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. calling its toll free telephone number, 1 800-922-1531 or, if from the Columbia area, (803) 737-5230 or at www.regulatorystaff.sc.gov. 1. As a general rule, you have the right to establish telephone service if you satisfactorily establish your credit and neither you nor any member of your household 14. If, after working with the telephone utility and the Office of Regulatory Staff's is indebted to the telephone utility, if you provide the telephone utility with necessary Consumer Services Department, you are not satisfied with the outcome of this process, and reasonable access to your property, if you are within the operating area of the you have the right to file your complaint with the Public Service Commission. To file company, and if your utilization does not pose a hazardous or dangerous condition. a complaint with the Public Service Commission you must complete their Consumer If you have any questions concerning your right to service, you should contact the Complaint form. This form is available online at www.psc.sc.gov/consumer/info.asp or you telephone utility serving your area. can request that a form be mailed to you by calling the Publ ic Service Commission's Docketing Department at 803-896-5100. The completed complaint form should 2. You have the right to advice from your telephone utility as to what facilities and be mailed to the Public Service Commission, 101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100, services are available in your area. Columbia, South Carolina 29210 or fax to 803-896-5199. 3. You have the right to a telephone directory published at regular intervals, listing This statement gives you a summary of your rights as a customer of a telephone utility. the name, address and telephone numbers of customers, except public telephone and Not all telecommunications services are regulated. More detailed provisions are set out telephone service unlisted at the customer's request. In the event of an error in your in law, commission rules and regulations, and the tariffs of the telephone utility


telephone listing, you have the right to request the telephone utility to intercept all calls to the listed number for a reasonable period of time provided existing central office equipment will permit and the number is not in service. In the event of an error or

Emergency Preparedness

omission in the listing of a customer, such customer's correct name and telephone number shall be in the files of the directory assistance operators. Detailed information on emergency preparedness is available from the American Red Cross and city and county agencies. 4. You have the right to establish telephone service if you satisfactorily establish your credit and neither you nor any member of your household is indebted to the telephone Hurricanes utility. You may be required to post a deposit if any one of the following conditions Pre-storm Planning: exist: Identify your evacuation level to determine if and when you will have to evacuate. 1) you have had two 30-day arrearages in the past 24 months or you have been sent Decide where you will go if ordered to evacuate; e.g. to the home of a friend or two or more late payment notices in the past 9 months, 2) you cannot furnish either relative, or to a hotel/motel in a safe location. You may need to leave the area an acceptable co-signer or guarantor, who is a customer of the utility within the State entirely or go to a Red Cross shelter. of South Carolina, to guarantee payment, 3) your gross monthly billing increases, Register now with the County Emergency Management office if you will need 4) you have had your service terminated by any telephone utility for non-payment or assistance during an evacuation. fraudulent use, or 5) the utility determines, through use of commercially acceptable methods, that your credit and financial condition warrants a deposit. You have the right If a Storm Approaches: to have all conditions of obtaining service explained to you by the utility's personnel. Listen for weather reports. Hurricanes are unpredictable, so keep informed. 5. If you are required to make a cash deposit, the maximum amount cannot exceed an Have your car ready. Check gas, oil, and water. amount equal to an estimated two (2) months (60 days) bill for a new customer or an Put together your hurricane survival kit. amount equal to the total actual bills of the highest two (2) consecutive months based on the experience of the preceding six (6) months for an existing customer. If you Refill prescriptions. Obtain at least a four-week supply. make a cash deposit with the utility, you have the right to have the deposit returned to Get some cash. Banks and ATM's will not be in operation without electricity, and few you (plus interest at a rate prescribed by the Commission) after two years unless you stores will be able to accept credit cards. have had two 30-day arrearages in the past 24 months, or have had service denied or Plan for pets. They are not allowed in shelters. If you need to make arrangements interrupted for non-payment of bills, or have been sent two late payment notices in the for your pet, contact your vet, the Humane Society, or the Animal Protection League. past nine (9) months, or have had a returned check in the past six (6) months; or if you discontinue service with the telephone utility. Clear your yard of loose objects: bicycles, lawn furniture, trash cans, and anything that can fly freely through the air. 6. You have the right to pay your bill without incurring late-payment charges if no


Shutter/board windows to reduce structure vulnerability. unpaid balance is brought forward from the previous billing date. If a balance is Lower temperature setting on the refrigerator and check food. If the power goes out, brought forward, a maximum of one and one-half percent (1%) may be added to that you'll want your food to stay as cool as possible for as long as possible. balance to cover the cost of collection and carrying accounts in arrears. Secure your boat early. Draw/swing bridges will be closed to boat traffic after the 7. You have the right to a timely and accurate bill. You have the right to receive, upon evacuation order is issued. request, information as to the utility's billing procedures.

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