Goto Section: 76.227 | 76.501 | Table of Contents
Revised as of October 1, 2019
Goto Year:2018 |
§ 76.309 Customer service obligations.
(a) A cable franchise authority may enforce the customer service
standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section against cable
operators. The franchise authority must provide affected cable
operators ninety (90) days written notice of its intent to enforce the
(b) Nothing in this rule should be construed to prevent or prohibit:
(1) A franchising authority and a cable operator from agreeing to
customer service requirements that exceed the standards set forth in
paragraph (c) of this section;
(2) A franchising authority from enforcing, through the end of the
franchise term, pre-existing customer service requirements that exceed
the standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section and are
contained in current franchise agreements;
(3) Any State or any franchising authority from enacting or enforcing
any consumer protection law, to the extent not specifically preempted
(4) The establishment or enforcement of any State or municipal law or
regulation concerning customer service that imposes customer service
requirements that exceed, or address matters not addressed by the
standards set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.
(c) Cable operators are subject to the following customer service
(1) Cable system office hours and telephone availability—
(i) The cable operator will maintain a local, toll-free or collect call
telephone access line which will be available to its subscribers 24
hours a day, seven days a week.
(A) Trained company representatives will be available to respond to
customer telephone inquiries during normal business hours.
(B) After normal business hours, the access line may be answered by a
service or an automated response system, including an answering
machine. Inquiries received after normal business hours must be
responded to by a trained company representative on the next business
(ii) Under normal operating conditions, telephone answer time by a
customer representative, including wait time, shall not exceed thirty
(30) seconds when the connection is made. If the call needs to be
transferred, transfer time shall not exceed thirty (30) seconds. These
standards shall be met no less than ninety (90) percent of the time
under normal operating conditions, measured on a quarterly basis.
(iii) The operator will not be required to acquire equipment or perform
surveys to measure compliance with the telephone answering standards
above unless an historical record of complaints indicates a clear
failure to comply.
(iv) Under normal operating conditions, the customer will receive a
busy signal less than three (3) percent of the time.
(v) Customer service center and bill payment locations will be open at
least during normal business hours and will be conveniently located.
(2) Installations, outages and service calls. Under normal operating
conditions, each of the following four standards will be met no less
than ninety five (95) percent of the time measured on a quarterly
(i) Standard installations will be performed within seven (7) business
days after an order has been placed. “Standard” installations are those
that are located up to 125 feet from the existing distribution system.
(ii) Excluding conditions beyond the control of the operator, the cable
operator will begin working on “service interruptions” promptly and in
no event later than 24 hours after the interruption becomes known. The
cable operator must begin actions to correct other service problems the
next business day after notification of the service problem.
(iii) The “appointment window” alternatives for installations, service
calls, and other installation activities will be either a specific time
or, at maximum, a four-hour time block during normal business hours.
(The operator may schedule service calls and other installation
activities outside of normal business hours for the express convenience
of the customer.)
(iv) An operator may not cancel an appointment with a customer after
the close of business on the business day prior to the scheduled
(v) If a cable operator representative is running late for an
appointment with a customer and will not be able to keep the
appointment as scheduled, the customer will be contacted. The
appointment will be rescheduled, as necessary, at a time which is
convenient for the customer.
(3) Communications between cable operators and cable subscribers—
(i) Refunds—Refund checks will be issued promptly, but no later than
(A) The customer's next billing cycle following resolution of the
request or thirty (30) days, whichever is earlier, or
(B) The return of the equipment supplied by the cable operator if
service is terminated.
(ii) Credits—Credits for service will be issued no later than the
customer's next billing cycle following the determination that a credit
(i) Normal business hours—The term “normal business hours” means those
hours during which most similar businesses in the community are open to
serve customers. In all cases, “normal business hours” must include
some evening hours at least one night per week and/or some weekend
(ii) Normal operating conditions—The term “normal operating conditions”
means those service conditions which are within the control of the
cable operator. Those conditions which are not within the control of
the cable operator include, but are not limited to, natural disasters,
civil disturbances, power outages, telephone network outages, and
severe or unusual weather conditions. Those conditions which are
ordinarily within the control of the cable operator include, but are
not limited to, special promotions, pay-per-view events, rate
increases, regular peak or seasonal demand periods, and maintenance or
upgrade of the cable system.
(iii) Service interruption—The term “service interruption” means the
loss of picture or sound on one or more cable channels.
Note to § 76.309: Section 76.1602 contains notification requirements for
cable operators with regard to operator obligations to subscribers and
general information to be provided to customers regarding service.
Section 76.1603 contains subscriber notification requirements governing
rate and service changes. Section 76.1619 contains notification
requirements for cable operators with regard to subscriber bill
information and operator response procedures pertaining to bill
[ 58 FR 21109 , Apr. 19, 1993, as amended at 61 FR 18977 , Apr. 30, 1996;
65 FR 53615 , Sept. 5, 2000; 67 FR 1650 , Jan. 14, 2002; 83 FR 7627 , Feb.
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Subpart I [Reserved]
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Subpart J—Ownership of Cable Systems
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Goto Section: 76.227 | 76.501
Goto Year: 2018 |
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