SELECTING A TELEPHONE COMPANY
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 5 business days of your request; (2) provide all billing records to your original telephone company within 10 business days of your request; (3) pay your original telephone company the amount you would have paid if you had not been slammed; and (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 that exceeds what you would have paid your original telephone company for charges after the first 30 days following the slam.
If you return to your original telephone company, the slamming carrier is required to provide you with all the benefits, such as frequent flier 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 immediately change your service back to your original provider by calling your original telephone company and to advise the company that you have been switched from its service without appropriate authorization. You can prevent slamming by contacting Grande Customer Care and requesting a “preferred telephone company freeze” from Grande. 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 Commission can provide you with more information concerning freezes and your rights as a customer.
UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES ON YOUR TELEPHONE BILL
Placing charges on your telephone bill for products or services without your authorization is known as “cramming” and is prohibited by law. Grande does not provide billing services for other companies, however, if another company’s charges appear on your Grande telephone bill, you should contact Grande and request corrective action. In cases where a telephone company provides billing services for other companies, the Commission requires the billing telephone company to do the following within 45 days after it learns of the unauthorized charge: (1) notify the service provider to cease charging you for the unauthorized product or services; (2) remove any unauthorized charge from your bill; (3) refund or credit all money to you that you have paid for unauthorized charges; and (4) 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 you have been the victim of slamming or cramming and the company fails to resolve your request, or if you would like to file a complaint, please contact the Commission (see contact information below). 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 FCC, the Attorney General of Texas, or the Commission if you would like further information about possible additional rights. You may also report slamming and cramming complaints by writing or calling the Public Utility Commission of Texas, P.O. Box 13326, Austin, Texas 78711-3326, (512) 936-7120 or in Texas (toll-free) 1-888-782-8477, email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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