TRUTH IN BILLING



Revised 11/8/2018

Billing FAQ’s for LUS Fiber Residential and Business Customers

LUS Fiber may adjust its rates and charges, or impose additional rates and charges against customer’s invoices in order to recover amounts that it, either directly or indirectly, pays to or is required by governmental or quasi-governmental authorities to collect from others to support statutory or regulatory programs. Examples of such programs include, but are not limited to, the Federal and State Universal Service Fund, E911 Emergency Response Fees, Directory Assistance charges, Telephone Relay Service and State and Federal taxes.

LATA Access Fee

The LATA Access Fee is a charge associated with offsetting the cost of expanding the local area wide long distance calling area as part of your local phone service. It is also associated with the cost of upgrading and maintaining the network that provides customers the ability to keep their existing phone numbers when switching local service providers and carrying your in-state long distance and local toll calls over its lines.

Regulatory Cost Recovery Fee

The Regulatory Recovery Fee is a charge associated with offsetting cost associated with other state and federal regulatory fees such as the Louisiana Public Service Commission, the Interstate Telephone Relay Service Fund for the visually and hearing impaired, and the annual North American Numbering Plan administrative support fees.

Louisiana Universal Service Fund

The Louisiana Universal Service Fund (USF) provides support to promote access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates for those living in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries.

Louisiana Telecommunications Tax for the Deaf

This tax is used to provide access to all public telecommunications services to persons who are deaf, blind or have other similar disabilities in the state of Louisiana.

Revised 11/8/2018

Federal Telephone Excise Tax

The Federal Telephone Excise Tax is imposed under the Internal Revenue Code in the United States under 26 U.S.C. § 4251 on amounts paid for certain "communications services." The tax was originally imposed on the person paying for the communications services (such as a customer of a telephone company) but, under 26 U.S.C. § 4291, it is now collected from the customer by the "person receiving any payment for facilities or services" on which the tax is imposed.

State Sales and Use Tax

The State Sales and Use Tax is levied and imposed by the state of Louisiana for the purposes of furnishing telecommunications services.

911 System/Emergency Response Fee

911 has been designated as the "Universal Emergency Number" for all citizens throughout the United States to request emergency assistance. The purpose of the fee is to "pay for" the cost of such systems. Consumers do not pay this fee in order to be provided with E911 service. A consumer has access to E911 whether or not the locality in which the customer lives has imposed the monthly charge line that appears on their phone bill.
There is no per-call charge for calling 911.

Cable Franchise Fee

The Cable Franchise Fee represents part of the compensation a community receives in exchange for a cable operator's use and occupation of public property (the public rights-of-way). Thus, a franchise fee is in the nature of a rental charge, and is not a tax. A community's right to charge a franchise fee stems from its basic rights over its own property. These rights do not arise from federal law, but predate the Cable Act. Broadcast Surcharge Fee The Broadcast TV Surcharge is a pass through reflecting charges assessed to LUS Fiber by local broadcast or local "network-affiliated" TV stations. While broadcast stations distribute their signals over the air with spectrum granted to them by the federal government for free, they still charge LUS Fiber significant amounts to carry their signals. These high amounts have forced LUS Fiber to pass this cost on to their TV customers.

PEG Access Fee

Federal law (47 U.S.C. § 541(g)(2)(C)) allows local franchising authorities (LFA’s) to require cable operators to pay “capital costs for public, educational, or governmental (PEG) access facilities”. LUS Fiber does not keep the PEG Access Fees for itself. After the fees are collected, they are transmitted to the LFA’s that require LUS Fiber to incur the PEG “capital costs.” LFAs are responsible for ensuring that the PEG Access Fees are spent in compliance with federal law. PEG Access Fees are in addition to the Franchise Fees imposed by most LFA’s.

Revised 11/8/2018

Return Item Fee

An administrative charge will be applied to the customer’s bill for each occasion that a check, bank draft, or an electronic funds transfer item is returned for the reason of insufficient funds or no account.
-Administrative Charge Per Occasion = $20.00

Late Fee

A fee that is equal to 5% of the outstanding balance on the customer’s bill and is applied to each billing cycle the balance remains outstanding.

Bank Charge Back Fee

An administrative charge will be applied to the customer’s bill for each occasion that a credit card charge back is the result of a customer initiated dispute.
-Administrative Charge Per Occasion = $20.00

Restoration of Service Fee

A fee applied for the restoration of any service where the interruption of service was the result of payment delinquency. This fee will be applicable to each customer’s account per billing address per service that is being restored and will be reflected on the customer’s bill.
-Administrative Charge Per Service = $10.00

Fractional Charges and Credits

Computing Charges or Credits for a Fractional Part of a Month
When rates are stated on a monthly basis, each month is considered to have 30 days for billing purposes. To determine fractional charges or credits for portions of months:
-Count the days remaining in the billing period (including the 31st day of a 31-day month) starting with the day after the date on which the Service was furnished or discontinued.
-Divide that figure by 30 days.
-Multiply the resultant fraction by the monthly charge to arrive at the fractional charge or credit.

Computing Fractional Charges or Credits for a Rate Change
When a monthly rate is changed (increased or decreased), the additional charge or credit for any fractional part of a month is calculated as follows:
-Count the number of days remaining in the billing period (including the 31st day of a 31-day month) starting with the effective date of the rate change.
-Divide that figure by 30 days (billing month).
-Multiply the resultant fraction by the amount of the monthly rate change to arrive at the fractional charge or credit.

Revised 11/8/2018

Payment Currency

All rates and charges will be quoted in United States dollars, billed in United States dollars, and are to be paid in United States dollars.

Filing a Complaint

If you are unable to get LUS Fiber to remove charges from your telephone bill that you consider to be incorrect, you can file a complaint as follows with:
-the FCC for charges related to telephone services between states or internationally;
-the Louisiana Public Service Commission for telephone services within your state; and
-the FTC for non-telephone services on your telephone bill.

Filing a Complaint with the FCC

You can file a complaint using an FCC online complaint form. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:
Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street,
SW Washington, D.C. 20554

What to Include in Your Complaint

The best way to provide all the information needed for the FCC to process your complaint is to complete fully the online complaint form. When you open the online complaint form, you will be asked a series of questions that will take you to the particular section of the form you need to complete. If you do not use the online complaint form, your complaint, at a minimum, should indicate:
-your name, address, email address and phone number where you can be reached;
-telephone and account numbers that are the subject of your complaint;
-names and phone numbers of any companies involved with your complaint;
-amount of any disputed charges, whether you paid them, whether you received a refund or adjustment to your bill, the amount of any adjustment or refund you have received, an explanation if the disputed charges are related to services in addition to residential or business telephone services; and
-details of your complaint and any additional relevant information.

Revised 11/8/2018

Filing a Complaint with the Louisiana Public Service Commission

For charges for telephone services provided within Louisiana, you should contact the Louisiana Public Service Commission at:
Louisiana Public Service Commission
602 North 5th Street
12th Floor
Baton Rouge, LA 70802 225-342-4404
800-256-2397

What to Include in Your Complaint

-Name, Address, Parish, and Phone Number
-Email Address, if applicable
-Name of Company you are complaining about
-A brief statement of facts

Filing a Complaint with the FTC

For charges on your telephone bill for non-telephone services, file your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). You can file a complaint with the FTC online at https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. You can also submit a complaint by calling the FTC toll-free at 1-877-382-4357 (voice) or 1-866-653-4261 (TTY), or writing to:
Federal Trade Commission
CRC-240
600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, DC 20580

For More Information
For information about other telecommunications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center using the information provided for filing a complaint.