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Customer Rights

Totelcom continually strives to provide its customers quality phone service that offers enhanced features, long distance services, and competitive high speed broadband. To accomplish this, enhancing Totelcom’s 1,200 sq. mile network with fiber optics is a step-by-step goal aggressively being met, even to the extent of expanding some services into neighboring areas.

Give us a call for your telecommunications needs — 254-893-1000.

Customer Rights

Texas “Do Not Call” List

You will have the opportunity to add your name, address and residential telephone number to the Texas “No-Call Lists.”  By placing  your name, address and telephone number on theses lists, you identify yourself as a consumer who does not wish to receive telemarketing calls from telemarketers in Texas.  The Texas “No-Call Lists” will be maintained by the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC).

Consumers may register for the Texas No-Call Lists in three ways:

  • Online at http://www.texasnocall.com for instant registration.  Utilize this easy, automated method to speed your registration.  The site is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days per year.
  • Call toll free 1-866-TXNOCAL(L) (1-866-896-6225) to obtain an application or to register.
  • Send a written request for an application to: TEXAS NO CALL, PO BOX 313, E. WALPOLE, MA 02032

 

Telephone Solicitation

Texas law provides certain protections for a person who receives a telephone solicitation at a residence.  A telephone solicitor must:

  • Identify himself or herself by name;
  • Identify the business on whose behalf he or she is calling;
  • Identify the purpose of the call; and
  • Identify the telephone number at which the person, company, or organization making the call may be reached.

A telephone solicitor may not call a residence before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. on a weekday or Saturday, or before noon or after 9 p.m. on Sunday.

If a telephone solicitor uses an automatic dialing/announcing device, the machine must disconnect from your line within 30 seconds after termination of the call.

Exceptions

The requirements above do not apply to telephone solicitations made at your request, or solicitations made in connection with an existing debt or contract, or calls from a telephone solicitor with whom you have a prior or existing business relationship.

If you use a credit card to purchase a good or service from a telephone solicitor other than a public charity (an organization exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code, 501(c) (3), the seller must:

  • Offer a full refund for the return of undamaged and unused goods within seven days after you receive the goods or service.  (The seller must process the refund within 30 days after you return the merchandise or cancel your order for undelivered goods or services.); or
  • Provide you with a written contract fully describing the goods or services being offered; the total price charged; the name, address, and business phone of the seller; and any terms and conditions affecting the sale.

 

Complaints

The Texas Attorney General investigates complaints relating to a violation of this law, which is found at the Business and Commerce Code, Chapter 37.  If you have a complaint about a telephone solicitor whom you believe has violated this law, contact:  Consumer Protections Division, Office of the Attorney General of Texas, PO Box 12548, Austin, TX 78711, 512-463-2070.

Another law, found at Public Utility Regulatory Act 55.151 and 55.152, requires a telephone solicitor to make every effort not to call a consumer who asks not to be called again.  Complaints relating to a violation of this law are investigated by the Public Utility Commission of Texas.  If you have a complaint about repeated solicitation from a telephone solicitor you have asked not to call you again, contact Consumer Protection Division, Public Utility Commission of Texas, PO Box 13326, Austin, TX 78711-3326, 1-888-782-8477, (512) 936-7136 (teletypewriter for the deaf) Relay Texas: 1-800-735-2989.

Be advised that you may have additional rights under federal law.  Please contact the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission for further information on these additional rights.

 

CPNI Telephone Notice

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has implemented more stringent rules to protect your Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI).  CPNI information is not published name, phone number or address information, but call detail information such as the services you subscribe to and the dates, times, duration, and numbers billed to your phone number.  As part of an ongoing effort to protect the privacy of your account information and to comply with the FCC privacy regulations, Totelcom Communications, LLC is being required to obtain a password from you for those instances when someone calls our office wanting this type of information on  your account.  The password requirement does not apply whenyou have your bill and call our business office and have specific questions about the details you already have on  your account.  This requirement is to protect unauthorized persons from calling our office and obtaining your CPNI.  If you choose not to provide us a password and call us wanting CPNI, we are not allowed to provide it to you without the password, but we are allowed to mail you a copy of your bill to your address of record; call you with the information at the telephone number of record; o you may come to our office with a valid photo ID to receive a copy.  Please note that ONLY person(s) authorized by you and reflected on your records may acquire your call detail information and make changes to your account and, only if they have your password.

As part of our security system, the Company is required to obtain information to better protect your CPNI privacy, should you forget your password.

  1. Password
  2. Answers for two (2) hint questions
  3. Email address
  4. A list of authorized user(s), up to as many as five (5) different users may be provided, along with heir contact number and their relationship to you.

By providing the requested information, it willenable us to protect the privacy of your account information in a more secure method.

The Company has elected to retain the right to use CPNI information for marketing purposes.  If a customer desires their CPNI information not be used for marketing, they must notify the Company in writing once every two (2) years.  Please contact the business office at 254-893-1000 if you have any questions about your CPNI information.

 

Selecting a Telecommunications Carrier

Telephone companies are prohibited by law from switching you from one telephone service provider to another without your permission, a practice commonly known as “slamming.”

If you are slammed, Texas law requires the telephone company that slammed you to do the following:

  1. Pay all charges associated with returning you to your original telephone company within five business days of your request.
  2. Provide all billing records to your original telephone company within ten business days of your request.
  3. Pay your original telephone company the amount you would have paid if you had not been slammed.
  4. Refund to you within 30 business days any amount you paid for charges during the first 30 days after the slam and any amount more than what you would have paid your original telephone company for charges after the first 30 days following the slam.

Your original telephone company is required to provide you with all the benefits, such as frequent flyer miles, you would have normally received for your telephone use during the period in which you were slammed.

If you have been slammed, you can change your service immediately back to your original provider by calling your local telephone company.  You should also report the slam by writing or calling the Public Utility Commission of Texas, PO Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, (512) 936-7120, or in Texas toll free 1-888-782-8477, fax (512) 936-7003, email address: customer @puc.state.tx.us.  Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with text telephones (TTY) may contact the commission at (512) 936-7136.

You can prevent slamming by requesting a preferred telephone company freeze from your local telephone company.  With a freeze in place, you must give formal consent to “lift” the freeze before your phone service can be changed.  A freeze may apply to local toll service, long distance service, or both.  The Public Utility Commission of Texas can give you more information about freezes and your rights as a customer.

 

Your Right to Information Concerning Rates and Services

Totelcom Communications, LLC is involved in the provision of telecommunication services.  Totelcom Communications, LLC provides these services without regard to a customer’s race, nationality, color, religion, sex, marital status, income level, source of income, or from unreasonable discrimination on the basis of geographic location.

You may notice a charge on your telephone bill for the “Texas Universal Service Fund” charge (TX USF Charge).  This charge pays for the Texas Universal Service Fund (TUSF).  The Texas USF has been established by the State of Texas to help pay for keeping local phone rates affordable for low income customers and to support programs for the deaf and hard of hearing.  The Texas USF encompasses several assistance programs, including one which allows deaf and hard of hearing to purchase necessary telecommunications equipment.

Traditionally, an annual charge supported some of these programs.  Now all of them will be financed by a monthly charge on your bill.

If you have any questions about this charge or how it is calculated, please call your telephone company.

 

Charges on Your Telephone Bill

Placing charges on your phone bill for products or services without  your consent is known as “cramming and is prohibited by law.  Your telephone company may be providing billing services for other companies, so other companies’ charges may appear on your telephone bill.

If you believe you were “crammed,” you should contact the telephone company that bills you for your telephone service, Totelcom Communications, LLC at 254-893-1000 and request that it take corrective action.  The Public Utility Commission of Texas requires the billing telephone company to do the following within 45 calendar days of when it learns of the unauthorized charge:

  • Notify the service provider to cease charging you for the unauthorized product or service;
  • Remove any unauthorized charge from your bill;
  • Refund or credit all money to you that you have paid for an unauthorized charge; and
  • On your request, provide you with all billing records related to any unauthorized charge within 15 business days after the charge is removed from your telephone bill.

If the company fails to resolve your request, or if you would like to file a complaint, please write or call the Public Utility Commission of Texas, PO Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, (512) 936-7120 or toll free in Texas at 1-888- 782-8477.

Hearing and speech-impaired individuals with text telephones (TTY) may contact the commission at (512) 936-7136.

Your phone service cannot be disconnected for disputing or refusing to pay unauthorized charges.

You may have additional rights under state and federal law.  Please contact the Federal Communications Commission, the Attorney General of Texas, or thePublich Utility Commission of Texas if you would like further information about possible additional rights.

 

Your Right to Inspect or Obtain a Copy of Applicable Tariffs and Service Rules

The services provided by the Company are public utility services, subject to the rules, regulations and charges set forth in its tariffs, which shall at all times control the provision of such communication services.  In the event of a conflict between such tariffs and the information contained in this notice, the tariffs shall prevail.  The tariffs are subject to change and are available for inspection at the Company’s business office during office hours.  The Company shall provide copies of any such portion of the tariffs at a reasonable cost to reproduce such tariff for a requesting party.

Upon application for residential service, you will be informed of the lowest-priced service alternatives available.  We will explain the alternatives available at your location giving full consideration to equipment options and installation charges, for the telecommunications services requested and available in  your service area.

 

Time Allowed to Pay Outstanding Bills

The customer is responsible for payment of all charges for exchange service and equipment furnished the customer and toll messages (including special service billing charges) originating at the customer’s station, and for all toll messages received at the customer’s station on which charges have been reversed with consent of the person called.

All charges for local services and facilities are billed monthly in advance.  Toll message service charges (including charges for special billing services) are due when billed.  Itemized toll statements are included in each bill.  When warranted, in the judgment of the Manager, special bills for Long Distance charges may be rendered and are due and payable on demand.  However, the customer may continue to receive local service as long as full payment for local service is paid under the terms and conditions as described in the company tariff.

All bills for local, toll and miscellaneous services are due and payable at the office of the Company on or before the due date which is sixteen (16) days after issuance.  A bill for telephone service is delinquent if unpaid by the due date.  The postmark, if any, on the envelope of the bill, or an issuance date on the bill, if there is no postmark on the envelope, shall constitute proof of the date of issuance.  If the due date falls on a holiday or weekend, the due date for payment purposes shall be the next work day after the due date.

 

How to Resolve Billing Disputes and How Disputes Affect Termination of Service

The Company may decline to serve an applicant until such applicant has complied with the approved rules and regulations of the Company on file with the Commission governing the service applied for, or for the following reasons:

  1. If the applicant’s installation or equipment is known to be hazardous or of such character that satisfactory service cannot be given.
  2. If the applicant is indebted to any telephone company for the same kind of service as that applied for; provided however, that in the event the indebtedness of the applicant for service is in dispute, the applicant shall be served upon complying with the deposit requirement as provided in the Company’s tariff.
  3. For refusal to make a deposit if applicant is required to make a deposit as provided in the Company’s tariff.

Failure to receive a bill and disconnect notice does not relieve the Customer of the responsibility for payment in accordance with the provisions set for in the Company tariff.

If billing for telephone services are found to differ for the Company’s lawful rates for the services being purchased by the customer, a billing adjustment shall be calculated by the Company.  If the customer is due a refund, an adjustment shall be made for the entire period of overcharges.  If an overcharge is not adjusted by the utility within three billing cycles of the bill in error, interest shall be applied to the amount of the overcharge at the rate set by the Commission annually for a calendar year.

If the customer was undercharged, the Company may back bill the customer for a period not to exceed six (6) months from the date the Company initially notifies the customer of the amount of undercharge and the total additional amount that will be due.  Said amount shall be added to the next regular billing.  If the underbilling is $25.00 or more, the Company shall offer to such customer a deferred payment plan option for the same length of time as that of the underbilling.

If the customer questions any long distance charges, the particular calls in question may be deducted from the bill, upon notification to the Company, until the charges have been verified or adjusted.  The balance of the bill is due and payable by the due date.

 

How to Resolve Billing Disputes Regarding 900 Calls*

Disputes or inquiries regarding 900-type pay-per-call services billed to a customer’s account should be directed to the Company’s business office by calling the appropriate toll- free number or 254-893-1000.  A customer’s account should not be billed for pay-per-call services not offered in compliance with federal laws and regulations.

Customers have 60 days from the bill date to dispute a billing error.  Oral communication of an allegation of a billing error via the toll-free number on the 900 bill page will be considered sufficient notification of a billing error.

A customer has the right to withhold payment of the disputed charges during the billing error review, and no collection activity for disputed charges will occur while the charges are under investigation.  After investigation, if it is determined that the disputed charges are legitimate, the 900-service provider may proceed with outside collections against the account.  Local and long distance service cannot be disconnected for non-payment of 900-charges.  Failure to pay legitimate 900 charges may result in involuntary blocking of access to 900 services.  Voluntary blocking of access to 900 services is available by contacting the Company’s business office.

* The preceding consumer rights are provided under the Federal Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act.

 

Steps that Must be Taken Before the Company May Terminate Service

In the event of failure by the customer or those otherwise responsible to pay any regular bill or any part thereof, the Company may discontinue service if the bill has not been paid or a deferred payment agreement entered into within twenty-six (26) days from the date of issuance if proper notice has been given.  Proper notice shall consist of a separate mailing or hand delivery at least ten (10) days prior to a stated date of disconnection.  If mailed, the cutoff day may not fall on a holiday or weekend but shall fall on the next work day after the tenth day.

If disconnection of service will prevent the summoning of emergency medical help for a seriously ill resident your physician may provide written documentation to the Company to extend the time to pay the bill.

 

Grounds for Termination of Service by the Company

The Company may disconnect telephone service after giving ten (10) days written notice to the customer for:

  1. Failure to pay a delinquent account for utility service or failure to comply with the terms of a deferred payment agreement;
  2. Failure to establish and maintain credit within then (10) days after the Company has served or mailed notice requiring the customer to do so;
  3. Failure of the customer to reimburse, or make good to the Company, a check or moneys not honored by the bank on which issued;
  4. Violation of the Company’s rules as pertaining to the use of service in a manner which interferes with the service of others, or the operation of nonstandard equipment, if a reasonable attempt has been made to notify the customer and the customer is provided with a reasonable opportunity to remedy the situation;
  5. Failure to comply with deposit or guarantee arrangements where required;
  6. Failure of a residential customer to pay long distance charges incurred after toll blocking was imposed;
  7. Failure to pay the account of another customer as guarantor thereof if the customer has signed a guarantee as a precedent to service.

Unless a dangerous condition exists, or unless the customer requests disconnection, service shall not be disconnected on a day, or on a day immediately preceding a day, when personnel of the Company are not available to the public for the purpose of making collections and reconnecting service.

The Company may suspend or terminate telephone service to any person, firm, or corporation who obtains, attempts to obtain, or assists another to obtain local or long distance message telecommunications service by rearranging, tampering with, or making connection with any facilities of the Company by a trick, scheme, false representation, or false credit device; or by or through any other fraudulent means or device whatsoever, with intent to avoid the payment in whole or in part of the regular charge for such service.

The Company may disconnect, without advance notice, the telephone service used by a customer in connection with a plan or contrivance to secure a large volume of telephone calls to be directed to such customer or the telephone of any designated customer at or about the same time, resulting in preventing, obstructing or delaying phone service of others.

The Company may suspend or terminate telephone service to any person, firm, or corporation who over the facilities furnished by the Company, uses or permits to be used foul, abusive, obscene or profane language, or impersonates or permits others to impersonate any other individual with fraudulent or malicious intent, or  uses or permits his/her telephone to be used to make nuisance calls.

Services and facilities will not be furnished, or if being furnished by the Company, will be discontinued to any person, firm or corporation, if any law enforcement agency, acting within its jurisdiction, advises that such service is being, or will be, used in violation of the law.

 

Steps Necessary to Have Service Reconnected After Involuntary Termination

Service will not be restored unless or until all amounts due on the due date are paid in full, including restoration of service charges, or a deferred payment plan entered into.  The Company may request the customer to submit cash, money order or cashier’s check in payment of bill and reconnection charges and not accept a personal check or monies not guaranteed when the history of a customer account warrants such action.

No allowance will be made for loss of service during the period service is disconnected for non-payment, if payment is made and service reconnected before the completion of an order to terminate the service.

 

Deferred Payment Plan Offered by the Company

The Company shall offer, upon request, a deferred payment plan to any residential customer who has demonstrated a good faith ability to pay a reasonable portion but not all of his/her bill, if that customer has not previously been delinquent at any time during the preceding twelve (12) months and shall not refuse a customer participation in such a program on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, income level or source of income, and shall not unreasonably refuse a customer participation in such a program on the basis of geographic location.

If a customer has not fulfilled the terms of a deferred payment agreement, the Company shall have the right to disconnect pursuant to disconnection rules and shall not be required to offer subsequent negotiation of a deferred payment agreement prior to disconnection.

 

Your Right to Register a Complaint with the Public Utility Commission of Texas

A customer or applicant has a right to file a formal or informal complaint or pursue any matter with the Public Utility Commission of Texas at this address:

Public Utility Commission of Texas
Customer Protection Division
PO Box 13326
Austin, TX 78711-3326
512-936-7120 or in Texas toll-free 1-888-782-8477
Fax – 512-936-7003
Email address:  customer@PUC.state.tx.us
Internet address:  www.puc.state.tx.us
TTY 512-936-7136
Relay Texas TTY toll-free 1-800-735-2988

 

Customer-Provided Equipment

Under the Federal Communications Commission’s registration program, you may supply your own telephone or other terminal equipment and connect it directly to the nationwide telephone network.  The equipment must be approved by the FCC, and you are responsible for its proper connection, maintenance and repair.  FCC rules also require that you notify the Company before connecting your equipment.  Your equipment may not be connected to party lines.  Make sure that your equipment is not the cause of any problem you have with your telephone service before you call our repair service.  If you equipment is found to be at fault, a service fee may be assessed.

 

Access to Customer’s Premises

The Company’s agents and employees shall have the right to enter said premises at any reasonable hour for the purpose of installing, inspecting, maintaining, or repairing the equipment and facilities or for making collections from coin telephones or upon termination of the service, for the purpose of removing such equipment and facilities.

 

Terms and Conditions

Consumer Rights and Information:  You have online access to your customer rights information and other important information at www.totelcom.net.

Descriptions of Services and Charges:  Description of these services to which you have subscribed are included in the online directory.  You have also been provided with a list of the monthly charges for each service to which you are subscribed, and have been informed of the lowest-priced alternative plans available.  The installation fees are one-time non-recurring charges that are not refundable.  Any construction charges applicable to your service have been explained to you.  Almost all changes, except termination of service and disconnection of certain options, require a service charge.  The amount you are charged depends on the type of change requested.  To simplify paying your phone bill, ask us about paying your bill through a monthly bank draft.   Your bill will be paid automatically on the 10th of each month, and you will receive an itemized statement of that month’s charges.  Please consult one of our service representatives for different services.

Other Charges:  Your first bill may also include a prorated amount for the first month of service plus a full month’s service billing.  Surcharges and taxes on your bill are also assessed each month as a percent of revenue and remitted to the appropriate agency or authority.  Directory Assistance charges of $1.50 per call will be applied.  The Company will charge a fee equal to the maximum allowed by law for each returned check.  If service is disconnected for non-payment, a minimum service restoration charge of $35 will apply to have service restored.  Service maintenance charges for repairs by Company personnel will be assessed when deemed necessary.

Cancellation Policy:  If service is cancelled after the service is installed, you will be responsible for the non-recurring installation charges, which will not be refunded.

Contracts and Rights of Cancellation:  The minimum contract service term is one (1) month.  Also, if the term of a residential contract exceeds 31 days, you have six (6) business days from the time the terms and conditions information is sent to you to cancel the contract without penalty or fee.

Contacting the Company:  Our business office hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Our toll free number for customer inquiries is 1-800-545-2003.  You may apply for telephone service, buy a phone, pay your telephone bill, and obtain other telephone related services at our business office.  A night depository is available at the below address for your convenience after office hours.

Totelcom Communications, LLC
6100 Hwy. 16 (physical address)
PO Box 290 (mailing address)
De Leon, TX 76444
254-893-1000 (main number)
254-893-7070 (fax number)
 

Anti-Discrimination Policy:  Company services are provided without discrimination as to a customer’s race, color, sex, nationality, religion, marital status, income level, source of income, or from unreasonable discrimination on the basis of geographic location.

Lifeline, Link-Up, and Other Tel-Assistance Services:  Special services, that may include reduced rates, are available to some customers that qualify based on participation in certain government programs, income level, and/or disability.

 

Texas Law Provides For:

  • 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both for obtaining telecommunication services through the use of false, unauthorized or fictitious telephone or credit card numbers, or through the use of a code or prearranged scheme or any other trick or false representation.
  • A $425 – $500 fine against anyone convicted of refusing to give up a party line in an emergency.
  • 2 – 5 years in the penitentiary or a $100 – $2,000 fine against anyone who intentionally breaks, cuts, pulls, tears down or injuries any telephone, telegraph, or electric transmission wire, post machinery or other attachments to such line, or obstructs or interferes with the transmission of messages or electricity along such line.