Goto Section: 76.941 | 76.943 | Table of Contents

FCC 76.942
Revised as of October 1, 2014
Goto Year:2013 | 2015
§ 76.942   Refunds.

   (a) A franchising authority (or the Commission, pursuant to § 76.945)
   may order a cable operator to refund to subscribers that portion of
   previously paid rates determined to be in excess of the permitted tier
   charge or above the actual cost of equipment, unless the operator has
   submitted a cost-of-service showing which justifies the rate charged as
   reasonable. An operator's liability for refunds shall be based on the
   difference between the old bundled rates and the sum of the new
   unbundled program service charge(s) and the new unbundled equipment
   charge(s). Where an operator was charging separately for program
   services and equipment but the rates were not in compliance with the
   Commission's rules, the operator's refund liability shall be based on
   the difference between the sum of the old charges and the sum of the
   new, unbundled program service and equipment charges. Before ordering a
   cable operator to refund previously paid rates to subscribers, a
   franchising authority (or the Commission) must give the operator notice
   and opportunity to comment.

   (b) An operator's liability for refunds in limited to a one-year
   period, except that an operator that fails to comply with a valid rate
   order issued by a franchising authority or the Commission shall be
   liable for refunds commencing from the effective date of such order
   until such time as it complies with such order.

   (c) The refund period shall run as follows:

   (1) From the date the operator implements a prospective rate reduction
   back in time to September 1, 1993, or one year, whichever is shorter.

   (2) From the date a franchising authority issues an accounting order
   pursuant to § 76.933(c), to the date a prospective rate reduction is
   issued, then back in time from the date of the accounting order to the
   effective date of the rules; however, the total refund period shall not
   exceed one year from the date of the accounting order.

   (3) Refund liability shall be calculated on the reasonableness of the
   rates as determined by the rules in effect during the period under
   review by the franchising authority or the Commission.

   (d) The cable operator, in its discretion, may implement a refund in
   the following manner:

   (1) By returning overcharges to those subscribers who actually paid the
   overcharges, either through direct payment or as a specifically
   identified credit to those subscribers' bills; or

   (2) By means of a prospective percentage reduction in the rates for the
   basic service tier or associated equipment to cover the cumulative
   overcharge. This shall be reflected as a specifically identified,
   one-time credit on prospective bills to the class of subscribers that
   currently subscribe to the cable system.

   (e) Refunds shall include interest computed at applicable rates
   published by the Internal Revenue Service for tax refunds and
   additional tax payments.

   (f) Once an operator has implemented a rate refund to subscribers in
   accordance with a refund order by the franchising authority (or the
   Commission, pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section), the franchising
   authority must return to the cable operator an amount equal to that
   portion of the franchise fee that was paid on the total amount of the
   refund to subscribers. The franchising authority must promptly return
   the franchise fee overcharge either in an immediate lump sum payment,
   or the cable operator may deduct it from the cable system's future
   franchise fee payments. The franchising authority has the discretion to
   determine a reasonable repayment period, but interest shall accrue on
   any outstanding portion of the franchise fee starting on the date the
   operator has completed implementation of the refund order. In
   determining the amount of the refund, the franchise fee overcharge
   should be offset against franchise fees the operator holds on behalf of
   the franchising authority for lump sum payment. The interest rate on
   any refund owed to the operator presumptively shall be 11.25%.

   [ 58 FR 29753 , May 21, 1993, as amended at  58 FR 46736 , Sept. 2, 1993;
    59 FR 17974 , Apr. 15, 1994;  60 FR 52120 , Oct. 5, 1995]

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Goto Section: 76.941 | 76.943

Goto Year: 2013 | 2015
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