Customer Service Guide for Non-Basic Telecommunications



The following information has been prepared by the staff of the Department of Public Service. It is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide advice or other individual guidance. Department staff is available to answer any questions. Please address your inquiries to Office of Telecommunications, NYS Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350, or call the Office of Telecommunications at 518-474-4500.

Corporations Applying for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN)

        A telephone corporation offering non-basic retail services is permitted the option of posting a list of such services, including rates and terms and conditions on its website and must file with the Commission and make available to any requesting person a Customer Services Guide (CSG) or other listing of terms and conditions in lieu of filing a tariff with the Commission for such services. Companies applying for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity must demonstrate that they have developed a CSG for each non-basic service they proposes to provide.

Corporations Currently Holding a CPCN
        Public Service Law Section 92-g allows telephone corporations currently holding a CPCN the option to withdraw any tariff or schedule for non-basic retail services at any time upon thirty (30) days notice to the Commission. The notice to the Commission must include the internet web address or URL of such listing in addition to including a draft copy of the CSG for review by Department Staff prior to publishing it on the corporation’s web site. In order for any detariffing filing to become effective, the company seeking to detariff its non-basic services must post the CSG on its website.

Customer Service Guide Requirements
        After initial filing, telephone corporations are required to annually file a copy of the CSG with the Commission on or before January 31. This filing shall include a list of non-basic services, a description of such services and the rate of sale for each service and whatever additional information the Commission may require. Additionally, telephone corporations are required, upon request, to provide a copy of the CSG or other listing of terms and conditions to any person.

The CSG should contain information on the following topics to the extent that they apply to the company’s operations:
        1. Service Offerings – Description and Rate of Each Non-Basic Service
        2.
        Billing and Service Inquiries
                o Service Numbers
                o Unresolved Complaints (include the following language)
In the case of a dispute between the Customer and the Company which cannot be resolved with mutual satisfaction, the Customer may file a complaint by contacting the New York State Department of Public Service by phone, online or by mail.
        A. By Phone:

          Helpline (for complaints/inquiries):


          1-800-342-3377 for Continental United States or,

          1-800-662-1220 for Hearing/Speech Impaired: TDD or,

          518-472-8502 for fax

        B. Online:
        C. By Mail:

          NYS Department of Public Service

          Office of Consumer Services

          3 Empire State Plaza

          Albany, NY 12223-1350


        3. Customer Rights and Responsibilities
                o Billing and Payment for Service Rendered
                o Deposits
                o How Customers are Billed
                o Due Date
                o Late Payment Charges
                o Partial Payments
                o Dishonored Checks ($20.00 maximum returned check charge)
        4. Limitations on Liability
        5.
        Telephone Surcharges
                o State Gross Income and Gross Earnings Taxes
                o Village or Municipal Surcharge On Local Utility Gross Revenue Taxes
        6. Payment Arrangements
                o Special Payment Arrangements
                o Deferred Payment Plans
                o Customer Overpayments
        7. Service Suspension or Termination For Non-Payment
                o Restoring Service and Applicable Charges
        8. Termination For Causes Other Than Non-Payment
        9.
        Allowances (Credits) For Interruptions In Service
        10.
        Protection Tips Against Telephone Abuse and Fraud
        11.
        Consumer Protection Tips
                o “Slamming” and “Cramming”
                o Tips In the event of a power outage
        12. Repair Policies
        13.
        Telecommunications Service Priority (TSP)
        14.
        Critical Facilities Administration
        15.
        Services for Customers with Disabilities
            a. Health Care Providers Support Program
            b.
            The Schools and Libraries Discount Program
            c.
            Services for Customers with Disabilities
                o Discounted service for hearing or speech impaired customers
                o How to Qualify
                o Available exemptions from telephone service charges
        16. Managing Your Telephone Privacy
                o Privacy Principles
                o Blocking Caller ID
        17. Directory Listing – Non-Local