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You have rights. Information about your local home telephone services - page 4 / 11





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to consult with your phone company to find out what optional services you can discontinue or block in order to reduce your phone bill (see "Your right to block outgoing long distance and 900 and 976 calls" section).

If you believe that some of the charges in your phone bill are incorrect, you have the right to dispute them. You must let the phone company know that you are disputing the phone bill and pay the part of your phone bill that is unrelated to the disputed charges. The phone company cannot charge you interest or cut off your local phone service because you do not pay the disputed charges, unless it has reasonable grounds to believe that you have disputed the charges as a way to avoid or delay making a payment.

Circumstances when your local phone service can be cut off The phone company may take steps to cut off your local telephone service only in limited circumstances, such as:

  • when you owe the company more than $50 for your local phone service, including local

optional services;

  • when your local phone service charges have been past due for over two months;

  • when you fail to provide or maintain a reasonable deposit or an agreed upon alternative

(see "Your rights regarding deposits" section);

  • when you have failed to honour the terms of a payment plan arrangement;

  • when you use, or allow someone else to use, your phone for illegal purposes or to make

annoying or offensive calls.

Having your local phone service cut off is a very serious matter. Consult your telephone company's "Terms of Service" found in your white pages or the CRTC if you would like to clarify when your phone service can and cannot be cut off.

Steps the phone company must take The phone company cannot cut off your telephone service without providing reasonable advance notice in order to allow you the opportunity to pay outstanding bills, make payment plan arrangements, sort out misunderstandings, or take other actions to prevent your local phone service from being cut off.

The phone company must first contact you and explain why it is planning on cutting off your service. If the reason for ending your service is related to outstanding debt, the phone company must also let you know that you can enter into a reasonable payment plan, what the reconnection charge will be, and the phone number of a company representative you can talk to if you are disputing charges. If the phone company cannot reach you by phone, it must provide this information to you in a written notice to your billing address, or by fax or electronic document.

If the situation has not been resolved, the phone company must provide at least 24 hours' notice prior to cutting off your service, except in very limited circumstances.

Reconnection of service The phone company must restore your local phone service when the reason the service was cut off no longer exists. There may be a charge to reconnect your phone service.

If the disconnection of your local phone service was in error or otherwise improper, the phone company must restore your service free of charge. Your phone service will usually be reconnected during business hours on the next working day.

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