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(a) Utility business offices generally must be so located and staffed that customers and others have convenient access to qualified personnel, including supervisory personnel where warranted, to provide information relating to services and rates, to accept and process applications for service, to explain charges on customer's bills, to adjust charges made in error, and generally to act as the representative of the utility. Where alternate service which may meet a customer's requirements is available from the utility, the utility shall make a reasonable effort to advise the customer of the most economic service available and to assist the customer in making his choice of service.
(b) The utility shall notify the customer of any service connection or installation charge to be applied to his bill before undertaking any action so chargeable, and shall inform the customer of the estimated initial bill for local service and all other applicable charges. Before performing the work, the utility shall provide the customer with an estimate of the charges to be levied for extraordinary construction, maintenance, replacement costs, expenses, or overtime work unless these charges are specifically set out in the utility's tariff or unless the customer specifically requests billing on a "keep cost order" basis. No costs exceeding that estimate may be charged the customer without advance written customer approval. Costs below the estimate must be reflected in reduced charges or refunds to the customer.
(c) The utility shall notify its customers and the public of all reasonably available means of contacting its business offices. The utility shall provide toll-free calling from each community that it serves to its business office whenever the business office is located outside of those communities.
(d) Telephone utilities shall make all reasonable efforts to acknowledge, and where appropriate to answer, all correspondence within 10 working days or as soon as reasonably possible thereafter. The utility shall maintain records of the contact.
History: Eff. 1/5/79, Register 69; am 6/29/84, Register 90
Authority: AS 42.05.141
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Last modified 7/05/2006