Ohio Consumers' Counsel asks state residents to consider these facts about the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio proposal concerning telephone regulations. OCC encourages residents with concerns or comments to contact the PUCO, Docketing Division, 10th Floor, 180 E. Broad St., Columbus 43215-3793:
Telephone companies would be allowed to increase costs for services such as caller ID, call trace and a second phone line and could double costs for these services after three years. With no competition in the market, customers would have no alternative.
Telephone companies would be allowed to increase some rates in seven days after a consumer receives a mailed notice; no notice would be required for other increases. OCC said the timeline does not give consumers time to consider options.
Telephone companies would be allowed to increase rates regardless of service quality.
Telephone companies would be permitted to raise rates in the absence of a competitive environment.
Ameritech Ohio and Cincinnati Bell Telephone cannot immediately use the proposed plan because they are bound by current service plans that do not expire until January 2003 and June 2002, respectively.
The plan offers no legal process through which telephone companies would make the change to the new regulations.
Source: Ohio Consumers' Counsel