Skip to code content (skip section selection)
(A) Effective 90 days from the date that each cable provided is notified of the adoption of this chapter, each cable operator shall be subject to the following customer service standards.
(1) Cable system office hours and telephone availability.
(a) Cable providers will maintain a local, toll-free or collect call telephone access line, which will be available to its subscribers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1. Trained company representatives will be available to respond to customer telephone inquiries during normal businesses hours.
2. 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 company representative on the next business day.
(b) 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.
(c) The operator will not be required to acquire equipment or perform surveys to measure compliance with the telephone answering standards above unless there is a historical record of complaints, measured on a quarterly basis.
(d) Under normal operating conditions, the customer will receive a busy signal less than 3% of the time.
(e) Customer service center and bill payment locations will be open at least during normal business hours and will be conveniently located.
(2) 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.
(a) 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.
(b) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the operator, the cable operator will begin working on service interruptions promptly and in no event later than 24 hours after interruption becomes known. The cable operator must begin action to correct other service problems the next business day after notification of the service problem.
(c) 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 operator may schedule service calls and other installation activities outside of normal business hours for the express convenience of the customer.)
(d) An operator may not cancel an appointment with a customer after the close of business on the business day prior to the scheduled appointment.
(e) If a cable operator 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. The appointment will be rescheduled, as necessary, at a time, which is convenient for the customer.
(3) Communications between cable operators and cable subscribers.
(a) Refunds. Refund checks will be issued promptly, but no later than either:
1. The customer’s next billing cycle following resolution of their request or 30 days, whichever is earlier; or
2. The return of the equipment supplied by the cable operator if service is terminated.
(b) Credits. Credits for service will be issued no later than the customer’s next billing cycle following the determination that a credit is warranted.
(4) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS. Those hours during which most similar businesses in the community are open to serve customers. In all cases, NORMAL BUSINESS HOURS must include some evening hours at least one night per week and/or some weekend hours.
NORMAL OPERATING CONDITIONS. Those service conditions which are within the control of the cable operator. Those conditions which are not within the control of the cable operator include, but are not limited to, natural disasters, civil disturbances, power outages, telephone network outages and severe or unusual weather conditions. Those CONDITIONS which are ordinarily within the control of the cable operator include, but are not limited to, special promotions, pay-per-view events rate increases, regular peak or seasonal demand periods, and maintenance or upgrade of the cable system.
SERVICE INTERRUPTION. The loss of picture or sound on one or more cable channels.
(B) 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 these regulations.
(C) In addition to the requirement of division (B) above regarding advance notification to customers of any changes in rates, programming services or channel positions, cable systems shall give 30 days written notice to both subscribers and local franchising authorities before implementing any rate or service change. The notice shall state the precise amount of any rate change and briefly explain in readily understandable fashion the cause of the rate change (e.g., inflation, change in external costs or the addition/ deletion of channels). When the change involves the addition or deletion of channels, each channel added or deleted must be separately identified. For purposes of the carriage of digital broadcast signals, the operator need only identify for subscribers, the television signal added and not whether that signal may be multiplexed during certain day parts.
(D) A cable operator shall provide written notice to a subscriber of any increase in the price to be charged for the basic service tier or associated equipment at least 30 days before any proposed increase is effective. The notice should include the name and address of the local franchising authority.
(E) To the extent the operator is required to provide notice of service and rate changes to subscribers, the operator may provide the notice using any reasonable written means at its sole discretion.
(F) Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, 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.
(G) Products and services offered:
(1) Prices and options for programming services and conditions of subscription to programming and other services;
(2) Installation and service maintenance policies;
(3) Instructions on how to use the cable service;
(4) Channel positions of programming carried on the system; and
(5) Billing and complaint procedures, including the address and telephone number of the local franchise authority’s cable office.
(H) Subscribers shall be advised of the procedures for resolution of complaints about the quality of the televisions signal delivered by the cable system operator, including the address of the responsible officer of the local franchising authority.
(2005 Code, § 14-6-3)