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South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Meeting
Tuesday, October 17, 2000; 9:30 A.M.
State Capitol Building, Room 412
Pierre, South Dakota
NOTE: If you wish to join this meeting by conference call, please contact the Commission at 605- 773-3201 by 5:00 p.m. on October 16, 2000. PLEASE DON'T WAIT until the day of the meeting to contact us for the conference call.
NOTE: Notice is further given to persons with disabilities that this Commission meeting is being held in a physically accessible place. If you have special needs, please notify the Commission and we will make all necessary arrangements.
AGENDA OF THE COMMISSION MEETING
1. Approval Of The Minutes Of The Commission Meetings Held On September 26 and October 3, 2000. (Staff: Mary Giddings.)
1. Status Report On Consumer Utility Inquiries And Complaints Recently Received By The Commission. (Consumer Affairs: Leni Healy.)
The Commission has received 1713 consumer contacts during 2000. 167 contacts have been received since the September 13, 2000, Commission meeting.
The Commission has received 1767 consumer contacts during 2000. 54 contacts have been received since the last Commission meeting.
TELECOMMUNICATIONS: 48 of the contacts involved telecommunications. 11 contacts involved the unauthorized switching of service; 11 contacts concerned billing issues; 5 contacts concerned unauthorized billing for services; 4 contacts involved disconnections; 3 contacts concerned poor service; and the remaining contacts involved credit card calls, prepaid phone cards, cell phones, directory assistance, increasing rates without notice, double billing, delayed installation, internet speed, won't transfer service, won't cancel service, and trouble on the line.
ELECTRICITY: 6 of the contacts involved electricity issues. 4 of the contacts involved disconnections and the remaining issues related to power lines and power poles.
NATURAL GAS: There have been no natural gas contacts since the last Commission meeting.
1407 complaints have been resolved informally during 2000.
2. IN THE MATTER OF DISMISSING COMPLAINTS CT00-089, CT00-096 and CT00-103.
CT00-089 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY HELEN CHRISTENSEN, COLTON, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST SPRINT COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY L.P. AND BUSINESS OPTIONS, INC., REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
The Complainant alleges that her telecommunication service was switched without her authorization. She began to receive billings from Business Options. She is seeking credit of charges and compensation for her time. At the September 13, 2000, meeting, the Commission added Crusade Communication as a party. A hearing was planned for September 20, 2000.
CT00-096 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY THERMO BOND BUILDINGS INT'L, INC., ELK POINT, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST QWEST CORPORATION, FORMERLY KNOWN AS U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC., MCI WORLDCOM AND USBI REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED CHARGES AND EXORBITANT RATES AFTER SWITCHING ITS LONG DISTANCE SERVICES TO MCI. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Karen E. Cremer.)
Complainant alleges that USBI and WorldCom Network Services billed for unauthorized long distance services at excessive rates after the complainant had switched all of the business lines over to MCI for long distance services. The complainant alleges that SDCL 49-31-93 was broken and it is requesting that a $1000.00 be paid by the telecommunications company that initiated the unauthorized charges. A hearing in this matter was set for October 3, 2000. On September 26, 2000, the Commission granted USBI's Motion to Dismiss.
CT00-103 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY KATHY MEYER, SELBY, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST S&S COMMUNICATIONS REGARDING A DISPUTED BILLING AND CHARGES FOR LONG DISTANCE SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Karen E. Cremer.)
The Complainant alleges her daughter was given an 800 number to make free long distance calls. Calls were made using the number from January 2000 to April 2000. In August, the Complainant received a phone bill for $2020.26 for calls made using the 800 number. The complainant alleges she has requested a payment plan from the telecommunications carrier, he company has denied this method to pay the bill. The complainant is requesting a review of the charges and an adjustment. The complainant requests to know if the telecommunications carrier (respondent) is a legal operation.
TODAY, if the above matters are resolved shall the Commission dismiss the complaints and close the dockets?
3. CT99-006 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT OF TELE-TECH, INC. AND LONG LINE, INC. OF SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC. CONCERNING OVERCHARGES FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On June 1, 1999, the Commission received a complaint from Tele-Tech, Inc. and Long Line, Inc. against U S WEST concerning overcharges for telecommunications services. The Complainants allege that when they were forced by U S WEST to upgrade from Feature Group A, which was eliminated in 1994, that Tele-Tech, Inc. and Long Line, Inc. continued to be billed for 84 unused lines. The billing totals $103,746.84. The Complainants request that the Public Utilities Commission order U S WEST to repay Tele-Tech, Inc. and Long Line, Inc. the overcharges plus interest at a rate of 10% and "further relief that the Commission deems just and equitable." Probable cause was found in this matter on June 22, 1999. A hearing was held on November 1, 1999. The Commission made its decision at the May 30, 2000, meeting. On July 24, 2000, the Commission received a Petition for Rehearing or Reconsideration from Tele-Tech, Inc. and Long Lines Inc.
TODAY, how shall the Commission rule on the Petition for Rehearing or Reconsideration?
4. CT00-085 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY FR. YVON SHEEHY, SCJ, ON BEHALF OF ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH, LOWER BRULE, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST BUSINESS OPTIONS, INC. REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES AND UNAUTHORIZED BILLING FOR SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Charlene Lund. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
The complainant alleges that on June 20, 2000, a bill for $198.29 was received with unauthorized long distance charges for a period from January 24, 2000, to May 19, 2000. The complainant requests that the company should be charged with a slamming violation for the time and undue stress this has caused the church office and hopefully this will prevent others from having to go through this. On October 4, 2000, the Commission received a request from the Complainant to add CEO Telecom as a party to the complaint. The Complainant is also asking to add Sprint as a party to the docket. The hearing set for October 11, 2000, has been continued.
TODAY, shall the Commission add CEO Telecom and Sprint as parties to the complaint?
5. CT00-090 IN THE MATTER OF THE COMPLAINT FILED BY ED AND JANICE ST. GEMME, DAKOTA DUNES, SOUTH DAKOTA, AGAINST AT&T COMMUNICATIONS OF THE MIDWEST, INC., REGARDING UNAUTHORIZED SWITCHING OF SERVICES. (Staff Analyst: Leni Healy. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
The Complainants claim that they did not authorize a switch in service. They received billings from AT&T although AT&T claims that the St. Gemme family is not a customer of AT&T. The Complainants are seeking a final resolution to this issue. On September 13, 2000, the Commission added Qwest as a party. On August 14, 2000, AT&T filed a Motion to Dismiss. A hearing is scheduled for November 2, 2000.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant AT&T's Motion to Dismiss?
1. TC98-187 IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR AN ORDER DIRECTING U S WEST COMMUNICATIONS, INC., TO FILE UPDATES TO ITS EXCHANGE AND NETWORK SERVICES CATALOG, ACCESS SERVICE CATALOG, ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES CATALOG, AND PRIVATE LINE TRANSPORT SERVICES CATALOG. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
On October 26, 1998, Staff of the Commission petitioned the Commission to issue an Order requiring U S WEST Communications, Inc. to file updates to its Exchange and Network Services Catalog, Access Service Catalog, Advanced Communications Services Catalog and Private Line Transport Services Catalog. A hearing for this matter was scheduled for March 16, 1999 in Pierre. Based on a letter received from U S WEST on February 25, 1999, the Commission issued an amended Hearing Notice which clarified the matters to be heard at the hearing. Then on March 8, 1999, U S WEST sent another letter to the Commission. The letter indicated the "affidavit no longer reflects the position of U S WEST." The letter went on to raise the question of now expanding the issues before the Commission. Also in U S WEST's letter it stated "...an expanded hearing will necessitate some discovery and more extensive preparation." A hearing in this matter was held on April 27, 1999. The Commission deferred action indefinitely a August 17, 1999, meeting. On September 17, 1999, Staff filed a petition for reconsideration as to the issue posed to the Commission in Staff's original filing. On October 6, 1999, USWC filed its answer to Staff's petition for reconsideration. The Commission made its decision at the January 18, 2000, meeting. On March 21, 2000, U S WEST (now Qwest) filed a Petition for Reconsideration.
TODAY, how shall the Commission rule on the Petition for Reconsideration?
The issue before the Commission in this docket will be whether Pay Per Call Restriction, Billed Number Screening, Toll Restriction, and Blocking for 10XXX1+/10XXX011+ are fully competitive services as classified by U S WEST in Docket TC99-099. The Commission requests that U S WEST explain why these services should be considered as fully competitive services. The Commission is interested in knowing whether these services are currently being provided by interexchange carriers. The Association of Communications Enterprises was granted intervention.
TODAY, what is the Commission's decision?
3. TC00-104 IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION OF PT-1 COUNSEL INC. FOR A CERTIFICATE OF AUTHORITY TO PROVIDE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES IN SOUTH DAKOTA. (Staff Analyst: Heather Forney. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
PT-1 Counsel is seeking a Certificate of Authority to provide resold interexchange telecommunications services in South Dakota. The applicant is a switch-based reseller which intends to offer 1+ and 101XXXX direct outbound dialing, 800/888 Toll-Free inbound dialing, travel card services, and prepaid calling card services.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant a Certificate of Authority to PT-1 Counsel?
4. TC00-135 IN THE MATTER OF THE FILING BY MIDCONTINENT COMMUNICATIONS, INC. FOR APPROVAL OF ITS INTRASTATE SWITCHED ACCESS TARIFF AND FOR AN EXEMPTION FROM DEVELOPING COMPANY SPECIFIC COST-BASED SWITCHED ACCESS RATES. (Staff Analyst: Harlan Best. Staff Attorney: Karen Cremer.)
Midcontinent Communications has filed an intrastate switched access tariff concurrent with the rates, terms, and conditions of the Local Exchange Carrier Association (LECA) Tariff No. 1 as of January 1, 1999, with the exception of the switched access rates which are based on a statewide average. Midcontinent Communications has also requested an exemption from the requirement to develop intrastate switched access rates based on company specific costs.
TODAY, shall the Commission grant the exemption?
1. The Public Input Meeting for the City of Pierre transmission line construction (EL00-023) is scheduled for October 16, 2000, at 7:00pm, in the Visitors Center of the State Capitol in Pierre.
2. Commissioners and Staff will be in Brookings, South Dakota, October 18-19, 2000, for the Wind Energy Conference.
3. On October 22-25, 2000, Commissioners and Staff will be attending the ROC meeting in Denver.
4. Hearings are scheduled for November 1, 2000, for the Show Cause Orders for failure to pay the Gross Receipts Tax.
5. On November 2, 2000, hearings for CT00-101 (Vellek) and CT00-100 (Eliason) are scheduled to begin at 9am in Pierre.
6. A hearing in Docket CT00-090 (St. Gemme) is scheduled to begin at 3pm on November 2, 2000, in Room 412 of the State Capitol.
7. A hearing in docket NG00-001 (SDIPC/MDU) is scheduled for 1pm on November 9, 2000, in Room 464 of the State Capitol.
8. Commissioners and Staff will be attending the NARUC meeting in San Diego on Nov 12-15, 2000.
9. A hearing is scheduled for December 12, 2000, at 1pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol for Docket CT00-043 (Basec.net/Firstel).
10. A hearing for Docket CT00-055 (BH FiberCom/Qwest) is being scheduled for January 18, 2001.
11. Commission meetings and hearings are being scheduled for November 30 and December 12.
12. The next regularly scheduled Commission meeting will be held November 2, 2000, at 1:30pm, in Room 412 of the State Capitol Building.
Sue Cichos, Deputy Executive Director
October 10, 2000