CUSTOMER INFO GUIDE
The Public Service Commission of South Carolina (PSC) regulates many 4. You have the right to establish telephone service if you satisfactorily establish your telecommunications carriers and other investor-owned utilities operating within the credit and neither you nor any member of your household is indebted to the telephone state of South Carolina. Inquiries and complaints by utility consumers should be utility. You may be required to post a deposit if any one of the following conditions directed to the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS), an agency charged exist: with representing the public interest in utility regulation. Before contacting the ORS, 1) you have had two 30-day arrearages in the past 24 months or you have been sent consumers should first contact the telecommunications carrier(s) providing their local two or more late payment notices in the past 9 months, 2) you cannot furnish either and/or long distance services and allow them the opportunity to resolve the concerns. an acceptable co-signer or guarantor, who is a customer of the utility within the State If the matter is not resolved to a consumer's satisfaction by the telecommunications of South Carolina, to guarantee payment, 3) your gross monthly billing increases, carrier(s), the next step available to a consumer is to contact the Consumer Services 4) you have had your service terminated by any telephone utility for non-payment or Division of the ORS. The ORS Consumer Services Division may be reached by calling fraudulent use, or 5) the utility determines, through use of commercially acceptable 1-800-922-1531 toll-free within South Carolina or by calling (803) 737-5230 within methods, that your credit and financial condition warrants a deposit. You have the right the Columbia area during the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday to have all conditions of obtaining service explained to you by the utility's personnel. (except state holidays). Consumers may also contact the Consumer Services Division by completing the On-Line Consumer Complaint/Inquiry Form on the ORS web site at 5. If you are required to make a cash deposit, the maximum amount cannot exceed an www.regulatorystaff.sc.gov or at: State of South Carolina, Office of Regulatory Staff, amount equal to an estimated two (2) months (60 days) bill for a new customer or an 1401 Main Street, Suite 900, Columbia, SC 29201. amount equal to the total actual bills of the highest two (2) consecutive months based To contact the South Carolina Public Service Commission, you may write to: on the experience of the preceding six (6) months for an existing customer. If you make a cash deposit with the utility, you have the right to have the deposit returned to PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION you (plus interest at a rate prescribed by the Commission) after two years unless you 101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100 have had two 30-day arrearages in the past 24 months, or have had service denied or Columbia SC 29210 interrupted for non-payment of bills, or have been sent two late payment notices in the General Information.803-896-5100 past nine (9) months, or have had a returned check in the past six (6) months; or if The rates and practices for telephone service now in effect are subject to change. All you discontinue service with the telephone utility. telephone numbers are owned by your local telephone company, which has the right to 6. You have the right to pay your bill without incurring late-payment charges if no change any number as may be required. unpaid balance is brought forward from the previous billing date. If a balance is No automatic dialing announcing device can be connected to the local telephone brought forward, a maximum of one and one-half percent (1%) may be added to that service provider's network unless it complies with Federal Communications balance to cover the cost of collection and carrying accounts in arrears. Commission (FCC) rules. Autodialers used to transmit artificial or prerecorded voice messages should automatically release the called party's line within 5 seconds of that 7. You have the right to a timely and accurate bill. You have the right to receive, upon party's hang-up signal reaching the caller's dialing system. request, information as to the utility's billing procedures. For your protection, your local telephone service provider is able to detect fraudulent 8. If equal access is available, you have the right to select the Long Distance Carrier of calls. Defrauding or attempting to defraud a telephone company of its lawful charges is your choice provided the carrier is operating within your service area. prohibited by state and federal laws. Intentional and/or willful damage or destruction to coin telephones is classified as 9. Prior to telephone service being disconnected for non-payment, you have the right to criminal mischief. Punishment could include a prison sentence of two-to-ten years and/ written notice from the telephone utility that you have five (5) days to make settlement or a fine up to $10,000. on your account. In cases involving abnormal and excessive use of toll service, service may be denied two (2) days after written notice is given to the customer, unless When you call toll-free and cost-per-call numbers, the telephone number you're calling satisfactory arrangements for payment are made. from may be transmitted to the company you called. Your number could be available to that company's service representative before your call is answered. 10. If the telephone utility has overcharged or undercharged you, you have the right to CUSTOMER BILL OF RIGHTS an adjustment as allowed by the Public Service Commission of South Carolina's rules and regulations. The South Carolina Public Service Commission wants telephone utility customers to know their rights and responsibilities and who to contact for assistance when they have 11. You have the right to contact the telephone utility at all hours in case of emergency questions or problems regarding regulated telecommunications service(s). or unscheduled interruptions in your telephone service. BE AN INFORMED CUSTOMER. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. 12. You have the right to have questions or complaints promptly and thoroughly investigated by the telephone utility. 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 13. If you need assistance with a complaint against your telephone utility that you is indebted to the telephone utility, if you provide the telephone utility with necessary cannot resolve by dealing with the telephone utility on your own, you have the right and reasonable access to your property, if you are within the operating area of the to call on the Office of Regulatory Staff's Consumer Services Department. Consumer company, and if your utilization does not pose a hazardous or dangerous condition. Services will work with you and the telephone utility in an effort to resolve your If you have any questions concerning your right to service, you should contact the complaint. The Office of Regulatory Staff is located in Columbia and can be reached by telephone utility serving your area. 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. 2. You have the right to advice from your telephone utility as to what facilities and services are available in your area. 14. If, after working with the telephone utility and the Office of Regulatory Staff's Consumer Services Department, you are not satisfied with the outcome of this process, 3. You have the right to a telephone directory published at regular intervals, listing you have the right to file your complaint with the Public Service Commission. To file the name, address and telephone numbers of customers, except public telephone and a complaint with the Public Service Commission you must complete their Consumer telephone service unlisted at the customer's request. In the event of an error in your Complaint form. This form is available online at www.psc.sc.gov/consumer/info.asp or you telephone listing, you have the right to request the telephone utility to intercept all calls can request that a form be mailed to you by calling the Public Service Commission's to the listed number for a reasonable period of time provided existing central office Docketing Department at 803-896-5100. The completed complaint form should equipment will permit and the number is not in service. In the event of an error or be mailed to the Public Service Commission, 101 Executive Center Dr., Suite 100, omission in the listing of a customer, such customer's correct name and telephone Columbia, South Carolina 29210 or fax to 803-896-5199. number shall be in the files of the directory assistance operators.
This statement gives you a summary of your rights as a customer of a telephone utility. Not all telecommunications services are regulated. More detailed provisions are set out in law, commission rules and regulations, and the tariffs of the telephone utility.Previous Page