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Except as otherwise provided in the franchise agreement, the grantee shall maintain one or more customer service and bill payment offices at convenient locations within the service area to provide the necessary facilities, equipment and personnel to comply with the following consumer protection standards under normal operating conditions.
(A) Cable system office hours and telephone availability.
(1) The grantee will maintain a local, toll-free or collect call telephone access line which will be available to subscribers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
(a) Named grantee representatives will be available to respond to customer telephone inquiries during normal business hours.
(b) After normal business hours, the access line may be answered by a service or an automated response system, including an answering machine. Inquiries received after normal business hours must be responded to by a trained grantee representative on the next business day.
(2) Under normal operating conditions, telephone answer time by a customer representative, including wait time, shall not exceed 30 seconds when the connection is made. If the call needs to be transferred, transfer time shall not exceed 30 seconds. These standards shall be met no less than 90% of the time under normal operating conditions, measured on a quarterly basis.
(3) The grantee will not be required to acquire equipment or perform surveys to measure compliance with the telephone answering standards above unless an historical record of complaints indicates a clear failure to comply.
(4) Under normal operating conditions, the customer will receive a busy signal less than 3% of the time.
(5) Customer service center and bill payment locations will be open at least during normal business hours.
(B) Installations, outages and service calls. Under normal operating conditions, each of the following four standards will be met no less than 95% of the time measured on a quarterly basis.
(1) Standard installations will be performed within seven business days after an order has been placed. Standard installations are those that are located up to 125 feet from the existing distribution system.
(2) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the grantee, the grantee will begin working on “service interruptions” promptly and in no event later than 24 hours after the interruption becomes known. The grantee must begin actions to correct other service problems the next business day after notification of the service problem.
(3) The “appointment window” alternatives for installations, service calls and other installation activities will be either a specific time or, at maximum, a four-hour time block during normal business hours. (The grantee may schedule service calls and other installation activities outside of normal business hours for the express convenience of the customer.)
(4) The grantee may not cancel an appointment with a customer after the close of business on the business day prior to the scheduled appointment.
(5) If the grantee’s representative is running late for an appointment with a customer and will not be able to keep the appointment as scheduled, the customer will be contacted prior to the time of the scheduled appointment. The appointment will be rescheduled, as necessary, at a time which is convenient for the customer.
(C) Communications between grantee and subscribers.
(1) Notifications to subscribers.
(a) The grantee shall provide written information on each of the following areas at the time of installation of service, at least annually to all subscribers, and at any time upon request:
1. Products and services offered;
2. Prices and options for programming services and conditions of subscription to programming and other services;
3. Installation and service maintenance policies; and
4. Instructions on how to use the cable service.
(b) Channel positions of the programming carried on the system; and
(c) Billing and complaint procedures, including the address and telephone number of the grantee’s and grantor’s offices within the service area.
(d) Customers will be notified of any changes in rates, programming services or channel positions as soon as possible in writing. Notice must be given to subscribers a minimum of 30 days in advance of the changes if the change is within the control of the cable operator. In addition, the cable operator shall notify subscribers 30 days in advance of any significant changes in the other information required by division (C)(1)(a)1. above. Notwithstanding any other provision of part 76, a cable operator shall not be required to provide prior notice of any rate change that is the result of a regulatory fee, franchise fee, or any other fee, tax assessment or charge of any kind imposed by any federal agency, state or franchising authority on the transaction between the operator and the subscriber.
(a) Bills will be clear, concise and understandable. Bills must be fully itemized, with itemizations including, but not limited to, basic and premium service charges and equipment charges. Bills will also clearly delineate all activity during the billing period, including optional charges, rebates and credits.
(b) In case of a billing dispute, the grantee must respond to a written complaint from a subscriber within 30 days.
(3) Refunds. Refund checks will be issued promptly, but no later than either:
(a) The customer’s next billing cycle following resolution of the request or 30 days, whichever is earlier; or
(b) The return of the equipment supplied by the grantee if service is terminated.
(4) Credits. Credits for service will be issued no later than the customer’s next billing cycle following the determination that a credit is warranted.
(Ord. 78, passed 10-13-1997)