WSR 97-19-070




[Filed September 15, 1997, 3:54 p.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 97-11-071.

Title of Rule: Amending WAC 480-120-106 to exempt prepaid calling card services from billing requirements. Docket No. UT-961295.

Purpose: Existing rules require a form of bill for all telecommunications services. The rule does not contemplate prepaid calling card services and its requirements are not appropriate for such services.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 81.01.040.

Summary: See Explanation of Rules below.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Steve McLellan, Secretary, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, (360) 753-6451.

Name of Proponent: Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission, governmental.

Agency Comments or Recommendations, if any, as to Statutory Language, Implementation, Enforcement, and Fiscal Matters: No comments or recommendations are submitted.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: WAC 480-120-106 Form of bills, currently requires a form of bills for all telecommunications services. Due to the specialized nature of prepaid calling card services, providers do not render bills to their customers. The proposed changes to WAC 480-120-106 would exempt prepaid calling card services from the requirements of bill forms.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Amends WAC 480-120-106 to exempt prepaid calling card services from billing requirements.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposal has no adverse effects on business, but rather reduces requirements for service providers.

RCW 34.05.328 does not apply to this rule adoption. The commission is not an agency to which RCW 34.05.328 applies, and this rule change is not a significant legislative rule as defined therein.

Hearing Location: Commission Hearing Room, Second Floor, Chandler Plaza, 1300 South Evergreen Park Drive S.W., Olympia, WA 98504, on October 29, 1997, at 9:00 a.m.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Pat Valentine by October 23, 1997, TDD (360) 586-8203, or (360) 753-1292.

Submit Written Comments to: Steve McLellan, Secretary, P.O. Box 47250, Olympia, WA 98504-7250, FAX (360) 586-1150, by October 8, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: October 29, 1997.

September 12, 1997

Terrence Stapleton

for Steve McLellan


AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order R-345, Docket No. UT-900726, filed 6/18/91, effective 7/19/91)

WAC 480-120-106 Form of bills. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, bills to subscribers shall be rendered regularly and shall clearly list all charges. Each bill shall indicate the date it becomes delinquent and notice of means by which a subscriber can contact the nearest business office of the utility.

The portion of a bill rendered by the local exchange company on behalf of itself and other companies shall clearly specify the ((alternate)) operator service ((company's)) provider's billing agent ((and, where feasible, within ninety days after the effective date of this rule)), the provider of the ((alternate)) operator services and a toll free telephone number the consumer can call to question that portion of the bill and, if appropriate, receive credit. A number may be used on this portion of the bill only if it connects the subscriber with a firm which has full authority to investigate and, if appropriate, to adjust disputed calls including a means to verify that the rates charged are correct. Consumers requesting an address or toll free telephone number of the operator service provider where they can ((write to)) question that portion of the bill shall be provided that information.

A local exchange company shall not provide billing and collection services for telecommunications service to any company not properly registered to provide service within the state of Washington, except to a billing agent that certifies to the local exchange carrier that it will submit charges only on behalf of properly registered companies. As a part of this certification the local exchange company shall require that the billing agent provide to it a current list of each telecommunications company for which it bills showing the name (as registered with the commission) and address. This list shall be updated and provided to the local exchange company as changes occur. The local exchange company shall ((in turn, upon receiving it,)) provide a copy of this list to the commission for its review ((whenever a carrier is added or deleted)) upon request.

All bills for telephone service shall identify and set out separately any access or other charges imposed by order of or at the direction of the Federal Communications Commission. In addition, all bills for telephone service within jurisdictions where taxes are applicable will clearly delineate the amount, or the percentage rate at which said tax is computed, which represents municipal occupation, business and excise taxes that have been levied by a municipality against said utility, the effect of which is passed on as a part of the charge for telephone service.

Subscribers requesting by telephone, letter or office visit an itemized statement of all charges shall be furnished same. An itemized statement is meant to include separately, the total for exchange service, mileage charges, taxes, credits, miscellaneous or special services and toll charges, the latter showing at least date, place called and charge for each call. In itemizing the charges of information providers, the utility shall furnish the name, address, telephone number and toll free number, if any, of such providers. Any additional itemization shall be at a filed tariff charge.

Upon a showing of good cause, a subscriber may request to be allowed to pay by a certain date which is not the normally designated payment date. Good cause shall include, but not be limited to, adjustment of the payment schedule to parallel receipt of income. A utility may be exempted from this adjustment requirement by the commission.

(2) Any telecommunication company's prepaid calling card services are exempt from subsection (1) of this section. Any telecommunications company for which an exemption is provided under this section shall provide call detail reports for prepaid calling card services free to customers upon request.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and chapter 80.36 RCW. 91-13-078 (Order R-345, Docket No. UT-900726), 480-120-106, filed 6/18/91, effective 7/19/91. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040 and 1988 c 91. 89-04-044 (Order R-293, Docket No. U-88-1882-R), 480-120-106, filed 1/31/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.01.040. 85-18-011 (Order R-233, Cause No. U-85-35), 480-120-106, filed 8/23/85; 85-16-116 (Order R-234, Cause No. U-85-21), 480-120-106, filed 8/7/85; Order R-86, 480-120-106, filed 6/30/76; Order R-25, 480-120-106, filed 5/5/71. Formerly WAC 480-120-210.]

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