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(a) If a customer or shipper has an informal complaint against a public utility or pipeline carrier, the complaint must be made first to the utility or carrier. If the complainant is not satisfied with the disposition of the complaint, the complainant or the complainant's authorized representative, may then file a complaint with the commission. A utility or pipeline carrier shall assist a customer or shipper by giving notice on how to follow through on a complaint. An informal complaint to the commission need not be in any particular form and may be either written or oral. The commission will, in its discretion, request written confirmation of an oral complaint. A complaint must include, in as much detail as possible,
(1) every pertinent fact relative to the origin, nature, and basis of the complaint;
(2) everything the complainant has done, or tried to do, either orally or in writing, to resolve the complaint;
(3) the response of the utility or pipeline carrier to the arguments and efforts of the complainant; and
(4) a copy of any written actions to resolve the complaint or other available supporting documents.
(b) It is advisable, but not mandatory, for an aggrieved party to submit a written complaint to the utility or pipeline carrier, and to retain a copy of all correspondence to document the facts, rather than to rely solely upon oral communications. If a complainant chooses to document the complaint, the complainant may furnish the commission with a copy for whatever value it may be if the complainant later files an informal complaint with the commission.
(c) The commission will try to resolve an informal complaint only if it appears that the complainant has, in fact, taken the complaint to the utility or pipeline carrier and
(1) the utility or pipeline carrier has not disposed of the complaint within a reasonable time to the satisfaction of the complainant;
(2) the complainant, or one authorized to speak on the complainant's behalf, specifically requests the commission to take appropriate informal action to resolve the complaint; or
(3) there is a substantial indication that the utility or pipeline carrier has violated a law, rule, or regulation administered by the commission, or that the utility or pipeline carrier has not complied with applicable provisions of its effective tariff.
(d) An informal complaint not acted upon by the commissioner will, nevertheless, be assigned a number, be filed, and be closed with a written statement furnished to the complainant summarizing the facts of the complaint and the reason it is closed.
(e) A party who is not satisfied with an informal resolution made by the commission's consumer protection section may file a request for action under the alternative dispute resolution procedures set out in 3 AAC 48.121 or under the formal complaint procedures set out in 3 AAC 48.130. In determining whether to grant the request, the commission will apply the good cause standard set out in 3 AAC 48.130(f) . If the commission institutes a formal proceeding, the entire informal file will be transferred to the file of the formal proceeding as provided for under 3 AAC 48.060(g) .
History: Eff. 1/13/73, Register 44; am 6/29/84, Register 90; am 5/5/2000, Register 154
Authority: AS 42.04.080
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Last modified 7/05/2006