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consumer tips

You are protected by state and federal regulations that guide the way telephone companies do business. There are also things you can do to help protect your privacy and safety. Some consumer guidelines are listed here.

Pay Per Call Service Information Who is Eligible for Telephone Billing Name & Address Disclosure Assistance?

When you place a calling card call or What "900" Numbers are accept a collect call or third-number Private companies offer a variety of Eligible customers are those that meet billed call, your telephone company is informational programs using phone eligibility standards as defined by the required to provide your billing name numbers that begin with "900." There South Dakota Public Utilities Commission and address to the telecommunications is a charge for calls to these numbers. and the FCC. Residents who live on service provider that handled the call, if Charges for "900" calls appear on the federally recognized Tribal Lands may that provider requests. Your telephone Interexchange Carrier page of your qualify for additional Tribal benefits if they company will continue to provide bill. "900" calls contain an introductory participate in certain additional federal billing name and address information to disclosure message specifying types of eligibility programs. telecommunications service providers for charges, time necessary to complete the other account matters, such as customer The Lifeline discount is available for only call, and an option to disconnect without service, servicing your account, to prevent one telephone per household, which can charge at the end of the introductory fraud or when you move from one location be either a wireline or wireless telephone. message. to another. A household is defined for the purposes The price and content of "900" services of the Lifeline program as any individual are the responsibility of the companies

South Dakota Do-Not-Call Register

or group of individuals who live together that provide the information. at the same address and share income Sign-Up is Free How to Block Calls to "900" Numbers and expenses. Lifeline service is not Register online at www.donotcall.gov transferable, and only eligible consumers Your local telephone company will assist Or Call Toll Free. . . . . . . . . . . 888 382-1222 may enroll in the program. Consumers you in blocking calls from your line to TTY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 866 290-4236 who willfully make false statements in "900" numbers. If you have problems registering, please order to obtain Lifeline telephone service Other Questions About "900" Numbers can be punished by fine or imprisonment contact the South Dakota Public Utilities and can be barred from the program. Commission at 800 332-1782 or If you have a complaint or dispute about www.state.sd.us/puc. the "900" services, call the interexchange If you have questions or believe you may carrier. Services that contain illegal or qualify for these benefits, please call your

8-1-1 Call Before You Dig

sexually explicit material are not CenturyLink Residential Customer Service allowed. Nor is your telephone service A call to 8-1-1 connects the caller with the Representative at 1-800-244-1111 or visit disconnected for disputes about state One-Call Notification System whereby www.centurylink.com/TAP. payment of "900" charges. the caller can request the location of underground facilities. State law requires

Unwanted Sales & Survey Calls Financial Assistance

that everyone planning to excavate (or If you receive unwanted sales and/or otherwise disturb the ground) must first Several programs provide financial help survey calls, please take the following call the state one-call notification center at depending on your circumstances. The steps: least two business days, but not more than Low-Income Energy Assistance Program Be skeptical of offers that sound too 10 days, before the work is scheduled to (LIEAP) provides money to qualified good to be true; they usually are. start. Except in emergencies, requests to customers who need help with winter Report companies using questionable locate underground facilities made after heating bills. Also, the major energy sales practices to the Better Business 5 p.m. Local Time, or on weekends and utility companies have their own financial Bureau or your State Attorney General's holidays, will not be dispactched until 7 assistance programs to help their office. a.m. the next business day. This service is customers. Disconnect computer-generated calls by available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,

Lifeline Telephone Assistance

hanging up your telephone for 12 to 15 and is a free call. seconds.

Program

Call your local telephone company to CenturyLink participates in a program have your name removed - at no charge to make residential telephone service - from any lists that they may lease to more affordable to eligible low-income other firms. Customers with non-listed individuals and families. This program, or non-published numbers are never established by the South Dakota Public included on the lists. Utilities Commission and in conjunction Do not give your telephone credit card with the Federal Communications number to anyone who calls and asks for Commission, offers discounted basic local the number. service to qualified customers. In addition,

Obscene or Harassing Phone Calls

service deposits are generally waived for customers electing to place toll restriction Call your local telephone company for on their lines. Monthly charges for toll information on how to handle these types restriction will be waived for customers of phone calls. It's against the law to requesting to have that restriction on their make obscene or threatening phone calls. account. Telephone harassment is a crime. Penalties include imprisonment and/or a fine.

6 Consumer Tips

2016 Dex

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