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Telecom companies on the hook for outages under Ranker-sponsored bill
Telecommunication companies would be required to credit customers for service outages for which they are responsible and that exceed more than 12 hours in a monthly billing cycle as part of a bill under consideration in Olympia.
Sponsored by state Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of 24 fellow lawmakers, Senate Bill 6197, which would add a new chapter to the state Telecommunications Consumer Fairness Act, is intended to bring a little more fairness to the relationship between consumers and their telecommunications providers, Ranker said.
“If a person is late paying their bill, you can bet their cable, Internet, cell phone or landline provider will let you know about it,” he said. “Isn’t it only fair that if those same providers fail to provide a service consumers have paid for that the consumers are compensated when that service isn’t provided? I think so and that’s what this bill is about.”
Under the bill, the amount of credit a consumer receives is based on monthly billing and is pro-rated based on the number of days or portions of days of the outage. Failure to provide the billing credit will be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.