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Docket number: UT-121986
CenturyLink fined $30,000 for billing errors
OLYMPIA, Wash. – State regulators have fined CenturyLink $31,300 for billing errors related to taxes and surcharges.
The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC) approved a settlement agreement after commission staff investigated the company and discovered violations of consumer protection laws and rules related to billing.
The investigation found that the bulk of the billing errors were related to improper taxes, as well as, incorrect rates for local and Federal access charges and the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund.
The errors also included improper billing of low-income customers who qualified for the Washington Telephone Assistance Program.
The UTC issued a formal complaint in March, recommending penalties based on the alleged violations.
As part of the settlement, the company admits there were billing errors and agrees to pay the penalty. The company also installed a technical upgrade to ensure accurate billing going forward. In addition, the company agrees to conduct ongoing quality assurance monitoring.
Commission staff will continue to monitor the company’s compliance, and will take appropriate enforcement action if a pattern of increasing violations emerges.
CenturyLink is the largest local telephone company in Washington, serving approximately 1 million residential and business phone lines. The company also provides local phone service in the cities of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue, Olympia, Bellingham, Aberdeen, Longview, Vancouver, Bremerton, Spokane, Moses Lake, Yakima, Pasco and Walla Walla.
The UTC regulates the rates and services of telecommunications companies, investor-owned electric utilities, natural gas and water companies, garbage-collection haulers, household-goods movers and charter-bus companies, commercial ferries, pipeline companies, and a low-level radioactive waste repository.